Institution Profile: ICC (France)

Summary of findings

  • Number of arbitrations filed per year is around the 800 mark with an exception in 2016 when the number was 966.
  • The amount in dispute in a majority of cases fall in either the $2m-$5m or the $10m-$30m range. 41% of cases have had a total amount in dispute of more than $10m.
  • The construction & engineering sector (20%) have dominated, with energy (16%), financing & insurance (8%) in second and third place, respectively, amongst sectors.
  • The USA dominates as the main country of origin amongst the 15 top parties in ICC’s arbitration cases (19.4%).
  • Half of the parties are from outside Europe (50.45% non-European v 49.55% European) which is significant European-based arbitral institution.

Snapshot of the ICC as an arbitral institution

By Alexander G Fessas, International Chamber of Commerce Dispute Resolution Services and Abhinav Bhushan, International Chamber of Commerce Arbitration & Alternative Dispute Resolution

The 2018 Queen Mary International Arbitration Survey reported that the five most preferred arbitral institutions are the ICC, LCIA, SIAC, HKIAC and SCC. Respondents continue to prefer given institutions primarily for their general reputation and recognition. Preferences are also decisively shaped by an assessment of the quality of administration and of the institutions’ previous experience. It is perhaps pertinent that the ICC continues to remain the leading institution in the world, with 77% of the respondents terming it as their most preferred institution.

The provision of clear, well respected rules alongside efficient case management seems to be the determinant in the selection of an arbitral institution, alongside its long standing reputation. Additional considerations that may determine the choice of the institution are the provision of specially designed rules, the reputation of an institution in a particular sector, and the applicable costs.

There can be several reasons for the existence of a preference to a particular seat of arbitration. Often, an important consideration is the arbitration legislation of a seat (specially with regards to the national courts’ friendliness towards arbitration and enforcement of awards or if certain kinds of dispute are arbitrable or not/if third party funding has legal sanction and so on). While this may not map directly with the FDI Data, there are some sectors that pre-dominantly utilise arbitration. For instance, Construction and Energy have traditionally been the top sectors for arbitration in general (and even in the ICC).

It is also perhaps pertinent that the emergence of arbitration in developing countries has created local markets where parties choose specific institutions because of either a presumption that local institutions are cheaper or because of lack of information about the services of international institutions. Often, these local institution’s rules liberally borrow from rules of established institutions.