ICC announces record 2020 caseloads in Arbitration and ADR

  • 12 January 2021
ICC Court of Arbitration

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has announced record requests in 2020 for its arbitration and ADR services.

The world’s preferred arbitral institute, the ICC International Court of Arbitration recorded a total of 946 new arbitration cases in 2020 – the highest number of cases registered since 2016, when a complex cluster of small disputes effectuated a marked increase in the statistics.

Of the 946 total registered cases, a record 929 were requested under the ICC Rules of Arbitration while 17 cases were filed under the ICC Appointing Authority Rules whereby parties to an arbitration who have determined to proceed ad hoc (or outside of ICC’s institutional framework) can seek assistance from the ICC Court on specific case management services.

Of the 17 cases filed under ICC’s Appointing Authority Rules, 12 cases were filed under UNCITRAL Rules and five cases entirely ad hoc.

President of the ICC Court Alexis Mourre said: “Our arbitration results for 2020 are testament to the Court’s standing as the world’s leading and most preferred arbitral institution in a competitive environment. Our success in this context can be put down to close to a century of experience and an ability to support users with a range of services – particularly for large, complex, multi-party and multi-contracts cases – and the continuous increase of the time and costs efficiency of the Court, notably in cases where lower amounts in disputes are involved.”

In October 2020, the ICC Executive Board formally approved revised ICC Rules of Arbitration, last updated in 2017. The revised ICC Rules of Arbitration entered into force on 1 January 2021 along with updates to the ICC Court’s Note to Parties and Arbitral Tribunals on the Conduct of Arbitration.

Preliminary statistics for 2020 also reveal a record year for the ICC International Centre for ADR, whose services include mediation, expert appraisal, dispute boards and dispute resolution under ICC Rules for Documentary Instruments Dispute Resolution Expertise (DOCDEX), for disputes involving trade finance-related instruments.

The Centre, which received its 400th request for Mediation in December, registered 77 new cases in 2020, comprising a record 45 mediations, 22 expertise proceedings, 7 DOCDEX and 3 Dispute Board proceedings.

“We are delighted with these record statistics for our services which signal a growing confidence in mediation as an effective means of overcoming hurdles arising in commercial arrangements in the Covid-19 age,” said ICC International Centre for ADR Manager Alya Ladjimi.

ICC International Court of Arbitration Secretary General and Director of ICC Dispute Resolution services Alexander Fessas said: “These stellar statistics cement another major milestone for our leading Arbitration and ADR services and reflect the continued growth and accessibility of our dispute resolution offerings that support of global commerce.”

Read 8 ways ICC led dispute resolution in 2020