The ICC Court registered a record 869 new cases in 2019. Of that total, 851 were administered under the ICC Rules of Arbitration and involved parties originating from 147 countries and independent territories, as well as arbitrators from a record 89 jurisdictions. In 18 cases, ICC was acting as appointing authority.
Another ICC record included a significant increase in the number of state and state-owned entities in ICC Arbitration over the past five years. Marking a historical record, 42 states and 172 state-owned entities were parties in 20% of ICC’s new cases.
Increases were also seen in the number of Indian parties, which tripled and reached 147. Having ranked 15th in 2018 with just 47 parties, India now comes in second on the overall number of parties worldwide. Moreover, Chinese parties also rose significantly, going from 59 to 105. The surge moves China, which includes Hong Kong and Macao, from the 11th position to the fifth, as the most frequent nationality in ICC Arbitration cases.
In terms of arbitrator representation, 61.7% originated from Europe, 21.1% from South America, 10% from North America (United States and Canada), 12.6% from Asia and Australia and 3.6% from Africa. New nationalities represented in 2019 originated from Azerbaijan, Botswana, Haiti, Malawi, the Palestinian authority, St Kitts and Nevis.
Furthering the drive for gender diversity for the tenth year in a row, the ICC Court reported another increase in the total number of women serving as arbitrators. The figure stands at 21% for 2019, an increase from 18.4% in 2018. Last year, 312 women in total were appointed by the ICC Court, confirmed further to party or received co-arbitrator nominations. The ICC Court appointed 43% of all women arbitrators – a total of 134 appointments – while an additional 42% of women arbitrators were confirmed upon party nomination – for a total of 131 confirmations.
At the end of last year, 146 cases had been or were being conducted under Expedited Procedure Provisions (EPP), which were first introduced by ICC in March 2017. Of the 50 final awards rendered in expedited proceedings, 37 were within the six-month time limit, with very limited delays encountered in the balance of cases. Among those cases, the delay for submitting the final award exceeded one month in only 10 cases due to justified circumstances and the parties agreeing to a new procedural timetable. In three of those cases, the delay resulted in a fee reduction for the arbitrator(s). Scrutiny of all 50 awards was made within 11 days on average.
The average duration of non EPP proceedings was 26 months for cases that reached a final award, two months down from 2018. Further, of the 162 draft final awards submitted to the ICC Court for scrutiny beyond the approved timeframe (two or three months from the last substantive submission, depending on whether the tribunal is composed of 1 or 3 arbitrators), 68 cases resulted in a fee reductions.
Throughout 2019, the ICC Court also administered a total number of 23 Emergency Arbitrator applications. The cases involved parties of 29 nationalities and six multi-party cases. ICC first introduced the service as a response to arbitration user needs in 2012 and since has received a total number of 117 emergency arbitrator cases.
In December 2019, the ICC Court also celebrated the registration of its 25,000th case. The milestone case was a corporate dispute between parties from the Middle East and India and is currently being administered through the Secretariat’s case management office in Singapore.
In addition to ICC’s leading arbitration services, the institution also provides a range of alternative services that can be used separately, successively or even concurrently with arbitration – all of which are managed by the ICC International Centre for ADR. Last year, the Centre received a total of 61 new cases. The cases were registered under the ICC Rules of Mediation, Dispute Board Rules and Documentary Credits (DOCDEX) Rules. Of the 61 cases, 35 were for ADR, 16 were for Expertise, four were for Dispute Boards and six cases pertained to DOCDEX.
The full statistical report for ICC Dispute Resolution is now available for download. It can also be viewed via the ICC DRS app and will be included in the forthcoming issue of the ICC Dispute Resolution Bulletin.