World Arbitration Reporter (WAR) - 2nd Edition - London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA)
Dr. Rémy Gerbay (Attorney NY; Solicitor England & Wales), LLB (Lyon), MA (Geneva), LLM (Georgetown), PhD (London), is a Lecturer at Queen Mary University of London. Before joining the School of International Arbitration at Queen Mary, Rémy Gerbay was the Deputy Registrar of the London Court of International Arbitration from 2009 to 2012. Remy is also Of Counsel with Enyo Law LLP.
Rutger Metsch, LLB (Groningen), LLM (London), FCIArb, is a Research Fellow at the School of International Arbitration at Queen Mary University of London.
Originally from World Arbitration Reporter (WAR) - 2nd Edition
A. History and Background of the Institution
The LCIA traces its roots back to the end of 19th century, when the corporation of the City of London and the London Chamber of Commerce joined forces to set up, under their joint patronage, the “City of London Chamber of Arbitration”. With a history now spanning over three centuries, the LCIA can claim to be the “vieille dame” of international arbitral institutions.
As is often the case with institutions of the sort, the LCIA’s establishment was the result of the combined efforts of the local business community (in the London Chamber of Commerce ) and of the local authorities (in the Corporation of the City of London), and was motivated by the perceived need to offer to the then burgeoning London international businesses a forum for the expeditious resolution of their disputes. Overtime, the institution’s name evolved from the ‘City of London Chamber of Arbitration, to the ‘London Court of Arbitration’ and was more recently changed to the ‘London Court of International Arbitration’.
The modern history of the institution is articulated around two key periods: the 1980’s (a decade marked by the internal overhaul of the institution), and the last decade (which was marked by significant expansion both internally and externally).
The 1980’s are a key period in the institution’s history for three main reasons. First, the arbitration rules were revised twice, in 1981 and 1985, establishing the modern framework of the current rules. Second, the 1980’s saw the establishment of the ‘LCIA Court’ as the supervisory organ responsible for the application of the LCIA Rules, under the authority of which the Secretariat is placed. Third, the corporate structure of the LCIA changed, as the institution was registered as a fully independent, not for profit, ‘company limited by guarantee.’ Because they equipped the institution with the tools to handle the new challenges of globalization, the above changes are often seen as the cornerstone of the world class institution that the LCIA has since become.
If the 1980’s were marked by significant structural changes, important developments also occurred in the past decade or so – a period during which the LCIA expanded significantly both internally and externally. Internally, this period was marked by a steep increase in the number of referrals, which have required the LCIA to expand its Secretariat both in terms of workforce and office space. The total number of cases referred to the LCIA (including arbitrations, mediations, and other forms of ADR proceedings) doubled between 1997 and 2007. The figure doubled again between the beginning of 2008 and the end of 2009 as a result of the financial crisis. The following two years -2010 and 2011- were then characterized by a contraction, but one which fell short of a return to pre-crisis figures. From 2012 onwards, the number of cases at the LCIA steadily increased. Externally, the LCIA opened three foreign centers: DIFC-LCIA in Dubai, LCIA India in Delhi and, more recently, LCIA-MIAC in Mauritius.