GE Oil & Gas attorney Michael McIlwrath has brought our attention to the recently released 2012 International Arbitration Survey: Current and Preferred Practices in the Arbitral Process. This study, conducted by the School of International Arbitration at Queen Mary, University of London, and the firm of White & Case LLP, notes how international arbitration is actually practiced, and points to what practices might be preferred.
Some of the results of the survey are:
- The frequent practice of unilaterally-appointed “party” arbitrators’ choosing a chair, after consultation with the appointing party, is generally approved;
- Fast-track arbitration procedures, while broadly available, are infrequently used;
- Favorite methods of expediting arbitrations include early identification of issues to be determined and limitations on document exchange;
- Requests for interim relief are uncommon, and granted only 35% of the time;
- The IBA Rules’ criteria (”relevant to the case and material to its outcome”) is the preferred standard for required document production, which is becoming more accepted as important to the outcome of cases;
- In most international arbitrations fact witness evidence continues to be offered by exchange of statements, with cross-examination (including preparation therefor) increasingly used;
- Civil lawyers conduct hearings that are shorter than common-law lawyers do;
- Sole arbitrators are expected to render an award within 3 months of hearing, and three-member tribunals within six months;
- Nearly all survey respondents thought it appropriate to take into account improper conduct by a party or counsel in awarding costs.