ICC unveils preliminary dispute resolution figures for 2021

  • 26 January 2022

Preliminary 2021 statistics released today by ICC Dispute Resolution Services reveal a great demand for ICC Arbitration and ADR as well as a steep rise of amounts in dispute in new cases.

In 2021, the Secretariat of the ICC International Court of Arbitration registered 853 new cases in total, comprising 840 cases filed under the ICC Arbitration Rules and 13 under the Rules of ICC as Appointing Authority. The number is comparable but lower than the record number of filings reported in 2020.

In addition, the Secretariat received 27 requests under the ICC Emergency Arbitrator Provisions, a procedure for urgent interim or conservatory measures that cannot await the constitution of an arbitral tribunal.

Early statistics also show a sharp increase in the average amount in dispute in new cases registered between January and October 2021, with US$184 million in dispute compared with US$54.1 million for new cases filed between January and December 2020. For the same period, figures indicate that the median amount in dispute was similar to the previous year (US$5.7 million in 2021 compared to US$5.6 million in 2020).

The amount in dispute in a single new case ranges from just above US$9,500 at the low end to above US$27 billion at the high end.

ICC Court President Claudia Salomon said: “Our preliminary statistics illustrate ICC’s ability to manage the full gamut of disputes, from large, complex cases to smaller ones involving lower amounts in dispute. The increase in the average amount in dispute while median results remain steady reflects the trust placed in ICC’s dispute resolution services and our role as an essential partner to commercial parties for their dispute resolution needs.”

New cases registered under ICC Arbitration Rules in 2021 involved 2,206 parties from 143 countries. Parties from the United States, Brazil, Spain, the United Arab Emirates and Mexico ranked first to fifth respectively, with parties from France, Germany, PR China and Hong Kong SAR, India and Italy completing the top 10 countries.

Preliminary figures also reveal that 2021 was a record year for the ICC International Centre for ADR that provides a range of services that can be used separately, successively or even concurrently with other dispute resolution procedures. In 2021, the Centre registered 80 new requests for its services – comprising mediation (44 cases), expertise (25 cases), Dispute Boards (4 cases) and cases related to trade finance instruments (7 cases). A total of 77 new cases were received in 2020.

ICC Court Secretary General Alexander G. Fessas said: “The robust preliminary figures for 2021 are a testament to our unique positioning as the world’s most preferred arbitral institution. ICC is grateful to all parties and their counsel who trust ICC for dispute resolution. They value our commitment to meet their needs, facilitate access to justice and strengthen the rule of law.”

ICC dispute resolution statistics for 2021 will be made available later this year. Statistics for 2020 can be downloaded here.

A request was registered as a new case in 2021 as filed by a party pursuant to Article 4 of the ICC Arbitration Rules or Article 4 of the Rules of ICC as Appointing Authority, if received by the Secretariat between 1 January and 31 December 2021, and the requisite filing fee had been paid.

Average and median amounts in dispute for 2021 reported here refer to claims brought in new cases registered between 1 January and 31 October 2021. The forthcoming ICC dispute resolution statistics will reflect updated amounts through 31 December 2021.