The London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) is one of the world’s leading international institutions for commercial dispute resolution. The LCIA provides efficient, flexible and impartial administration of arbitration and other ADR proceedings, regardless of location, and under any system of law. The LCIA has access to the most eminent and experienced arbitrators, mediators and experts from many jurisdictions, and with the widest range of expertise. The LCIA’s dispute resolution services are available to all contracting parties, without any membership requirements. The LCIA offers a variety of services related to alternative dispute resolution (ADR).
The London Court of International Arbitration (also known as LCIA) is an institution based in London, United Kingdom providing the service of institutional arbitration at an international level. Though its administrative office is based in London, it is an international institution whose activities are spread over the globe to provide forum for dispute resolutions for all parties, irrespective of their geographical location or system of laws. Its origin dates back to 1883. Over the years, it has evolved with different names as a tribunal. In 1903, the tribunal took the name of the London Court of Arbitration, and in 1981 the name of the court was changed to ‘The London Court of International Arbitration’ to reflect the nature of its work which expanded world over.
Any party wishing to commence an arbitration under these Rules (“the Claimant”) shall send to the Registrar of the LCIA Court (“the Registrar”) a written request for arbitration (“the Request”), containing or accompanied by:
- The names, addresses, telephone, facsimile, telex and e-mail numbers (if known) of the parties to the arbitration and of their legal representatives;
- A copy of the written arbitration clause or separate written arbitration agreement invoked by the Claimant (“the Arbitration Agreement”), together with a copy of the contractual documentation in which the arbitration clause is contained or in respect of which the arbitration arises;
- A brief statement describing the nature and circumstances of the dispute, and specifying the claims advanced by the Claimant against another party to the arbitration (“the Respondent”);
- A statement of any matters (such as the seat or language(s) of the arbitration, or the number of arbitrators, or their qualifications or identities) on which the parties have already agreed in writing for the arbitration or in respect of which the Claimant wishes to make a proposal;
- If the Arbitration Agreement calls for party nomination of arbitrators, the name, address, telephone, facsimile, telex and e-mail numbers (if known) of the Claimant’s nominee;
- The fee prescribed in the Schedule of Costs (without which the Request shall be treated as not having been received by the Registrar and the arbitration as not having been commenced); and
- Confirmation to the Registrar that copies of the Request (including all accompanying documents) have been or are being served simultaneously on all other parties to the arbitration by one or more means of service to be identified in such confirmation.
The date of receipt by the Registrar of the Request shall be treated as the date on which the arbitration has commenced for all purposes.
Within 30 days of service of the Request on the Respondent, (or such lesser period fixed by the LCIA Court), the Respondent shall send to the Registrar a written response to the Request (“the Response”), containing or accompanied by:
- A confirmation or denial of all or part of the claims advanced by the Claimant in the Request;
- A brief statement describing the nature and circumstances of any counterclaims advanced by the Respondent against the Claimant;
- A comment in response to any statements contained in the Request, as called for under Article 1.1
- On matters relating to the conduct of the arbitration;
- If the Arbitration Agreement calls for party nomination of arbitrators, the name, address, telephone, facsimile, telex and e-mail numbers (if known) of the Respondent’s nominee; and
- Confirmation to the Registrar that copies of the Response (including all accompanying documents) have been or are being served simultaneously on all other parties to the arbitration by one or more means of service to be identified in such confirmation.
The Response (including all accompanying documents) should be submitted to the Registrar in two copies, or if the parties have agreed or the respondent considers that three arbitrators should be appointed, in four copies.
Failure to send a response shall not preclude the respondent from denying any claim or from advancing a counterclaim in the arbitration
Any notice or other communication that may be or is required to be given by a party under these rules shall be in writing and shall be delivered by registered postal or courier service or transmitted by facsimile, telex, e-mail or any other means of telecommunication that provide a record of its transmission.
A party’s last-known residence or place of business during the arbitration shall be a valid address for the purpose of any notice or other communication. Also, some more provisions are attached to it.
Where the parties are of different nationalities, a sole arbitrator or chairman of the Arbitral Tribunal shall not have the same nationality as any of the parties unless the parties who are not of the same nationality as the proposed appointee all agree in writing otherwise. For this article, a person who is a citizen of two or more states shall be treated as a national of each state: and citizens of the European Union shall be treated as nationals of its different member states and shall not be treated as having the same nationality.
In exceptional urgency, any party may apply to the LCIA Court for the expedited formation of the Arbitral Tribunal, including the appointment of any replacement arbitrator under Articles 10 and 11 of these Rules. Such an application shall be made in writing to the LCIA Court, copied to all other parties to the arbitration: and it shall set out the specific grounds for exceptional urgency in the formation of the Arbitral Tribunal.
Unless and until the Arbitral Tribunal directs that communications shall take place directly between the Arbitral Tribunal and the parties (with simultaneous copies to the Registrar), all written communications between the parties and the Arbitral Tribunal shall continue to be made through the Registrar.
The parties may agree in writing the seat (or legal place) of their arbitration. Failing such a choice, the seat of arbitration shall be London, unless and until the LCIA Court determines in view of all the circumstances, and after having given the parties an opportunity to make written comment, that another seat is more appropriate.
Any party may be represented by legal practitioners or any other representatives. At any time the Arbitral Tribunal may require from any party proof of authority granted to its representative(s) in such form as the Arbitral Tribunal may determine.
The costs of the arbitration (other than the legal or other costs incurred by the parties themselves) shall be determined by the LCIA Court in accordance with the Schedule of Costs. The parties shall be jointly and severally liable to the Arbitral Tribunal and the LCIA for such arbitration costs.
The decisions of the LCIA Court with respect to all matters relating to the arbitration shall be conclusive and binding upon the parties and the Arbitral Tribunal. Such decisions are to be treated as administrative in nature and the LCIA Court shall not be required to give any reasons
LCIA in India:
LCIA India began its operation in 2009 in Delhi and was operationally independent of the LCIA. It was established with the objective to bring international quality arbitration to Indian parties at costs compatible enough with Indian rates. The institution operated under a three-tier structure, consisting of the Company, the Arbitration Court and the Secretariat. As a company, it was incorporated under the Indian Companies Act as a non-profit entity. Its board of directors composed of well-known Indian and international arbitration practitioners. The administration of arbitration cases was not in the purview of the board. The LCIA Court of Arbitration served as the arbitration court of LCIA India. Its main role was to appoint tribunals, decide challenges to arbitrators and to control the costs of arbitration. The LCIA Court is a multi-national body served by eminent practitioners of arbitration laws. The LCIA India Secretariat was based in New Delhi. It was headed by its Registrar who was responsible for the day-to-day administration of disputes referred to LCIA India. The function of the secretariat was purely administrative and it had no role with regards to legal services or advice.
Some of the salient features of the LCIA India rules are as follows:
- Unlike the LCIA rules, which provide London as a default seat, the LCIA India does not provide for a default seat.
- Article 14 of the rules places corresponding duties on parties and tribunals to ensure that proceedings are conducted fairly, efficiently and expeditiously.
- The LCIA India Rules though are directed at parties doing business in and through India, and are essentially an international set of rules which are suitable for operation under any system of law and can be used in any seat chosen for arbitration. etc.
Because arbitration is a consensual process, the parties must mutually agree to LCIA arbitration before the LCIA becomes involved in any dispute. Parties typically provide for LCIA arbitration or other forms of ADR in an arbitration clause in their contract. However, even if an LCIA arbitration clause is not initially included in the contract, the parties may later mutually agree to have the LCIA conduct their arbitration after a dispute arises.