A new expedited procedure contained in the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Arbitration Rules 2017 came into force on 1 March 2017.
It aims to provide a swift, efficient and cost-effective manner of resolving disputes and allows for a sole arbitrator acting without Terms of Reference.
Under Article 30 of the 2017 Rules, by agreeing to arbitration under the Rules, the parties agree that Article 30 and the Expedited Procedure Rules in Appendix VI (collectively known as the “Expedited Procedure Provisions”) will take precedence over any contrary terms of the arbitration agreement.
The Expedited Procedure Rules automatically apply if:
For cases involving higher amounts, or where the agreement was concluded before 1 March 2017, the Expedited Procedure Provisions will apply if the parties have agreed to opt in.
The International Court of Arbitration of the ICC (the Court) may, upon the request of a party or on its own motion, determine that it is inappropriate in the circumstances to apply the Expedited Procedure Provisions.
The Expedited Procedure Provisions contain a number of provisions aimed at increasing efficiency and reducing costs.
The new Expedited Procedure Provisions are a welcome development and reflect the demand for faster and cheaper arbitration. It remains to be seen whether parties will opt to apply the expedited procedure in higher value claims and whether a sole arbitrator will be appointed for all claims under US$2,000,000 notwithstanding the complexity of the matter.
The nuances between different arbitration rules mean that care should be taken when inserting arbitration clauses into commercial agreements to ensure that the most appropriate clause for the particular set of circumstances is used.
For further information on this topic, please contact Íde O'Neill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article appeared in the Law Gazette, April 2017.