July 2017

Time to Examine Contract Arbitration Clauses

Do the New Arbitration Rules Affect You?

Amendments to the ICC's arbitration rules took effect on March 1, 2017. The expedited rules will automatically apply to all arbitrations worth USD $2 million or less for any agreement to arbitrate entered into after March 1, 2017. The parties must agree to be covered by the expedited rules in older cases and cases worth more than USD $2 million. 
Proceedings under the expedited rules will be heard by a sole arbitrator, even if the parties chose a three member panel. The terms of reference, a notable feature of international arbitrations, is no longer required. 
A case management conference must be held within fifteen days after transmission of the file to the tribunal and the tribunal must render a decision within six months of the conference. The tribunal may decide the case solely on the basis of documents and may limit document production. Hearings may be held via telephone or videoconference. 
The new rules decrease the arbitrator's fee by 20%.

This is a little different from my usual screed but these rule changes have not received a great deal of publicity and potentially could have great impact. Thanks to Wolf Theiss Counsel Alert by Trauttenberg, C. and Wong, V.V. (Feb.2017)