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London increases arbitration business, switches to remote hearings

London further consolidated its position as the world’s leading place for the resolution of disputes in the maritime industry and related commercial sectors - including offshore unit construction - last year, according to statistics released today by the London Maritime Arbitrators Association (LMAA).

In 2019 LMAA arbitrators received a total of 2952 arbitration appointments (versus 2599 in 2018) including an increase of almost 15% in LMAA Terms appointments (up from 2369 in 2018 to 2697 in 2019). There was also an increase in Small Claims Procedure appointments, up from 207 in 2018 to 218 in 2019. 

Overall there was an increase in new cases of “well over 10%”, reports the LMAA, from 1561 new references in 2018 to 1756 new references in 2019.

The total number of awards published also increased to 529 (from 377 in 2018), including 401 (377) published under the LMAA Terms, with a further 7 (5) ICP and 121 (124) SCP awards also being issued. 

“These figures show that London remains far out ahead as the venue of choice for international maritime arbitrations in 2019,” commented Ian Gaunt, LMAA president.

LMAA arbitrators are now responding to the current difficult COVID-19 circumstances by “arranging remote hearings, including through The International Dispute Resolution Centre, Opus2 and more informally using Zoom or similar platforms,” he added. “The majority of LMAA cases continue to be decided on documents only without the need for a hearing with the attendant cost.”

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