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Mme Clea Bigelow-Nuttall

Senior Associate, International Arbitration - Pinsent Masons LLP

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I. Definition


The London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) is a private not-for-profit institution for commercial dispute resolution, administering arbitration, mediation and other alternative dispute resolution proceedings. While the LCIA is a London-based institution, less than 20% of parties in pending LCIA cases are of English nationality.1

II. History


Established in 1892 as the "City of London Chamber of Arbitration", the LCIA has evolved over the course of more than a century and in 1981 was renamed the London Court of International Arbitration, reflecting its status as a world-leading international arbitration institution. The LCIA was ranked second by corporate users of arbitration in the rankings of most used arbitral institutions worldwide, both in terms of general commercial arbitration,2 as well as in terms of sector-specific arbitration.3

III. Structure


The LCIA operates under a three-tier structure, comprising a limited private Company, an Arbitration Court, and a Secretariat, and is overseen by a Director General (presently Professor Dr Jacomijn van Haersolte-van Hof).


The Board of the LCIA limited company is made up of prominent London-based arbitration practitioners who oversee the operation and development of the LCIA's business.


The Arbitration Court, which is the final authority for the proper application of the LCIA Rules, is composed of up to 35 members. Its principal functions are the appointment of tribunals, the determination of challenges and the supervision of costs.


The Secretariat oversees the day-to-day administration of all cases referred to the LCIA, acts as administrator in cases brought under the UNCITRAL rules, and provides a fundholding facility in other ad hoc proceedings.

IV. LCIA Rules


The LCIA arbitration rules and procedures (updated in 2020 to replace the previous 2014 Rules)8 are universally applicable to any arbitral dispute, and are frequently adopted in ad hoc arbitrations.


The LCIA has not adopted specific rules or procedures in relation to investor-state disputes, and the principle activity of the institution remains commercial disputes. Nevertheless, the LCIA Secretariat administers investment treaty disputes (for example, under the UNCITRAL Rules).9 While the LCIA does not publish specific numbers on treaty-based cases, it is understood that the institution has registered, conducted and administered several investment treaty disputes under the LCIA Rules.10

V. Affiliated bodies


Dubai (DIFC-LCIA). Established in 2008 as a joint venture between the Dubai International Financial Centre and the LCIA, the DIFC-LCIA combines of the reputation of the LCIA with expertise in the legal and business culture of the Gulf and wider MENA region to deliver arbitration and ADR services for local and foreign business within the MENA region. The DFIC-LCIA has its own set of Rules separate to those of the LCIA.


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