Arbitration court overhauls rules to eliminate delays

The Paris-based International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), has overhauled its rules for the first time in 20 years.

Key aims of the changes are to reduce delays, to clear up uncertainties about arbitration procedures and to eliminate holes in the rules revealed by experience of the last two decades.

Robert Briner, a partner at Swiss firm Lenz & Staehelin and chairman of the ICC court, said: 'As globalisation of markets intensifies, disputes handled by ICC arbitrators have tended to become more complex with a higher incidence of multi-party disputes, and the changes now introduced take account of this.'

Christopher Seppala, head of international arbitration at White & Case's Paris office said: 'Overall, the reform has been well-received and is a positive development for the ICC.'

The changes should also help deflect some of the criticisms aimed at the ICC in recent years most notably in relation to long delays in proceedings.

Seppala believed that some criticism has been unfair, but noted that delays have been a problem in some cases.