Revised ICC Arbitration Rules 2021

International Arbitration, ICC, Rules of Arbitration

Overview

The International Court of Arbitration of the ICC has unveiled the 2021 ICC Rules of Arbitration («2021 Rules») which will enter into force on 1 January 2021. As stated by the President of the ICC Court, Alexis Mourre, the amendments to the 2021 Rules mark a further step towards greater efficiency, flexibility, and transparency of the Rules, making ICC Arbitration even more attractive, both for large, complex arbitrations and for small cases.

Main Changes

The main changes include the following:

  • Joinder and Consolidation: Article 7(5) of the 2021 Rules allows the joinder of additional parties in the course of an arbitration; i.e. even after the confirmation or appointment of an arbitrator. In addition, Article 10(b) has been amended to allow the consolidation of cases also in the presence of different parties.
  • Disclosure of Third-Party Funding: Article 11(7) of the 2021 Rules states that each party must promptly inform about any non-party funding arrangements.
  • Tribunal Appointment: Article 12(9) of the 2021 Rules allows the ICC Court – in exceptional circumstances – to appoint each member of the Arbitral Tribunal even if a different method of appointment is envisaged in the arbitration agreement, to avoid a significant risk of unequal treatment and unfairness that may affect the validity of the award.
  • Party Representation and Conflict of Interest: Article 17(2) of the 2021 Rules empowers the Arbitral Tribunal to take any measure necessary to avoid a conflict of interest of an arbitrator arising from a change in party representation, including the exclusion of new party representatives from participating in whole or in part in the arbitral proceedings.
  • Expansion of Expedited Procedure Rules: The Expedited Procedure Rules found under Article 30 and Appendix VI have been expanded with respect to their scope of application. The 2021 Rules increase the threshold for the opt-out application from USD 2 million to USD 3 million.
  • Virtual Hearings: According to Article 26(1) of the 2021 Rules the Arbitral Tribunal may decide, after consulting the parties, that a hearing will be conducted remotely by videoconference, telephone or other appropriate means of communication.
  • Additional Awards: Moreover, the 2021 Rules introduce a provision on additional awards in Article 36(3). This provision confirms that where an Arbitral Tribunal omits to address claims made in the arbitral proceedings in its Award and issues a later award to remedy this, it shall do so in the form of an «additional award».

Conclusion

While the new ICC 2021 Rules do not comprise a seismic shift, they nevertheless include changes worth noting. The new provisions will enhance transparency and efficiency and advance the protection of the integrity of the proceedings. Following the revision of the LCIA Rules, the ICC is the second major arbitration institution to update its Rules after the outbreak of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Ahead of the entry into force of the 2021 Rules, the ICC will soon release an updated version of its Note to Parties and Arbitral Tribunals on the Conduct of Arbitration.

October 2020 | Authors: Dr. Jonatan Baier, Corina Moschen

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