5月7日，英国伦敦玛丽女王大学（Queen Mary University of London）和伟凯律师事务所（White & Case）联合发布《2021年国际仲裁调查》。新加坡首次跃升为与伦敦持平的全球最受欢迎仲裁地，香港紧随其后，北京、上海同样榜上有名。中国国际经济贸易仲裁委员会（CIETAC）则首登全球排名前五最受欢迎仲裁机构名单。
HK, Beijing and Shanghai ranked among top arbitral seats, says Queen Mary-White & Case
The Queen Mary University of London and White & Case have co-launched the 2021 International Arbitration Survey recently, showing Singapore rising to be the most favourable arbitration destination globally, followed by Hong Kong SAR. Beijing and Shanghai are also among the top ten favourite arbitration seats and Beijing-headquartered CIETAC has for the first time ranked as the top five favourite arbitration centres.
Under the impact of the pandemic and the growth of arbitration itself, as in previous years, international arbitration again is the most favourable method of resolving cross-border disputes with 90 percent of respondents choosing it as their preferred method, either on a stand-alone basis (31%) or in conjunction with ADR (59%).
MOST PREFERRED ARBITRATION SEATS
Reflecting the global nature of international arbitration, respondents cited more than 90 different seats from a range of jurisdictions around the world and the top five seats this year are London (54%), Singapore (54%), Hong Kong SAR (50%), Paris (35%) and Geneva (13%).
Beijing joins New York as a joint sixth most popular seat, with each chosen by 12% of respondents. Shanghai comes in eighth (8%), and Shenzhen is also chosen by 2-4% of respondents.
“There has been an interesting movement within the top-five rankings,” the survey says. “While London once again stands at the top of the charts, for the first time it shares this position with Singapore.”
“What is more striking, however, is the significant percentage gains made by Singapore and Hong Kong, as compared to previous surveys,” it continues, “Singapore was the third most frequently chosen seat in 2018, selected by 39% of respondents. Hong Kong took fourth place in 2018, chosen by 28% of respondents.”
“The growth in popularity of seats in this region may reflect an increasing willingness by parties with commercial interests linked to that locale to also resolve disputes ‘locally’. It will be interesting to see whether large-scale commercial projects, such as the Belt and Road Initiative, will continue to impact this in the future,” the survey analyzes.
Meanwhile, when asked about the key adaptations that would make other arbitral seats more attractive, the top three answers are “Greater support for arbitration by local courts and judiciary”, “increased neutrality and impartiality of the local legal system” and “better track record in enforcing agreements to arbitrate and arbitral awards”.
FAVORITE ARBIRATION CENTRES
On the other hand, the five most preferred arbitral institutions this year are the ICC (57%), SIAC (49%), HKIAC (44%), LCIA (39%) and CIETAC (17%). Among them, CIETAC made it to the top-five most preferred choices for the first time.
Although their 2015 and 2018 surveys highlighted a noticeable growth in the percentage of respondents selecting SIAC, “this trend was clearly confirmed in this survey, with SIAC taking second place overall. There was also a significant increase of HKIAC, which took third place,” the survey says.
“The increases enjoyed by SIAC and HKIAC may correlate with a relative reduction in the percentages of the LCIA and the ICC. The LCIA, although it remains amongst the most popular institutions, dropped to fourth place from second place in 2018. The ICC’s overall percentage dropped considerably from 77% in 2018 to 57% today.”
When asked about the adaptations that would make other institutions more attractive to users, the top choices are “administrative/logistical support for virtual hearings”, which is obviously an outcome of the travel restrictions under the pandemic, followed by “commitment to a more diverse pool of arbitrators” and “transparency of administrative processes and decisions, such as selection of and challenges to arbitrators”.
Click here to check out the full survey.
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