New Records for ICC Dispute Resolution

The latest statistics published by the ICC (International Chamber of Commerce) reveal that arbitration is an increasingly popular mechanism for dispute resolution, and the Spanish element continues to increase.

In fact, Spain ranked seventh in the most frequent nationalities among parties, with 87 parties representing 3.48% of the total number in all 2019 ICC filings, and Spanish law was the seventh most selected applicable substantive law of all cases registered before the ICC in 2019.

Choice-of-law clauses were included in the substantive contractual provisions relied upon by parties in 88% of all cases registered in 2019. These covered the laws of 124 nations, states, provinces and territories. As in 2018, English law was the lex contractus in 16% of all cases registered. Swiss law was the second most selected applicable substantive law (12%), followed by the laws of a US state and French law (10% each). The laws of Brazil, Qatar and Spain ranked fifth, sixth and seventh with 34, 31 and 30 cases respectively.

Other statistics

In 2019, a total of 869 new cases were registered, of which 851 cases under the ICC Arbitration Rules and 18 under the ICC Appointing Authority Rules. This is the second highest number of newly-registered cases behind the record figure of 966 cases reached in 2016, with 135 related small-claim cases arising from a collective dispute.

In terms of diversity, the 851 new cases under the ICC Arbitration Rules involved parties originating from 147 countries and independent territories – breaking ICC’s previous record of 142 set in 2017– , and arbitrators from 89 jurisdictions – the highest number of jurisdictions to date – reflecting the continuous efforts of the ICC Court towards increasing diversity among ICC arbitral tribunals. New nationalities represented included Azerbaijan, Botswana, Haiti, Malawi, the Palestinian authority, and St Kitts and Nevis.

The proportion of women arbitrators continues raising, now reaching 21%. 312 women were appointed and confirmed arbitrators, while in 2018 the number was 273 women.

2019 also saw the highest number of cities hosting ICC Arbitrations: 116 cities spread over 62 countries, and a record number of new cases involving a state or state entities (20%).

Regarding languages, awards approved in 2019 were drafted in a total of 12 languages. English remains the predominant language (79% of awards), followed by French (42 awards), Spanish (32), Portuguese (20), German (seven) and Romanian (five).