New rules for marine arbitrations in the London Arbitral Tribunal have been implemented recently: the LMAA Terms 2021, the LMAA Intermediate Claims Procedure 2021 and the LMAA Small Claims Procedure 2021, all applying to London Arbitration.
The updated rules include a number of revisions designed at facilitating the arbitration procedure, which are believed to be a result of the challenges faced and solutions found during the Covid-19 crisis. This should enhance efficiency of arbitration.
Those rules relate to any new appointment commenced after 1 May 2021. For appointments made before this date, the previous (2017) terms and procedures will continue to apply.
Important changes include:
- An option given to the parties to choose a virtual or semi-virtual hearing and, where this is elected, guidance to be followed;
- The possibility to sign and notify awards electronically, although with some caution as there may be issues with enforcement;
- A new requirement that witness statements should be in the witness’ own words and confined to the evidence that a witness can give (i.e. not an attempt to argue the case). Arbitrators will now have the authority to impose cost sanctions for non-compliance in this respect;
- The power given to the President to appoint a substitute arbitrator when it becomes apparent that an original arbitrator is no longer capable of conducting the proceedings or attending the hearing. The President will decide when this is appropriate.
If you have any questions about marine arbitration, please get in touch with our Trade and Transport team or your usual contact at Hesketh Henry.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is current at the date of publishing and is of a general nature. It should be used as a guide only and not as a substitute for obtaining legal advice. Specific legal advice should be sought where required.