UK: Modifications To ICC Practice Note On Conduct Of Arbitration And Update To The ICC Rules Of Arbitration

Alexis Mourre became president of the ICC International Court of Arbitration on 1 July 2015 and very soon after commencing his role it became apparent that he intended to address some of the problems with arbitration; most notably, the common perception that there is lack of transparency in the arbitration procedure and concerns about the length of arbitration proceedings, including the considerable time it often takes for arbitrators to provide their award.

Changes to the Practice Note on the Conduct of Arbitration that followed soon after Mr Mourre's appointment were:

  • Improved transparency of arbitrator details to assist parties when considering the availability and suitability of that arbitrator for the appointment.  This was implemented for all arbitration proceedings registered as of January 2016 and involves the ICC Court now publishing on its website details of the arbitrator's name, their nationality, date the Terms of Reference were established, whether the arbitrator is the chairperson, a co-arbitrator or a sole arbitrator, whether the appointment was made by the Court or the parties, and whether the arbitration is pending or closed.
  • Further guidance to prospective arbitrators on the possibility of a conflict of interest and the requirement to disclose circumstances which may, but do not necessarily, lead to a challenge.  The ICC has made clear that the conflict of interest obligation rests firmly with the arbitrator when considering his/her impartiality and independence.  

Changes to the arbitration procedure have continued in the later part of this year with additional modifications to the Practice Note on the Conduct of Arbitration provided in September 2016 and now an update to the ICC Rules of Arbitration announced in November 2016.

Modifications to the Practice Note on Conduct of Arbitration (September 2016)

The modifications announced on 22 September 2016 relate to the day-to-day administration of cases and the increase in services offered by the Secretariat.

Additional Services Offered by the Secretariat

The Practice Note includes a new section setting out additional services offered by the Secretariat to parties and arbitrators.  These services include acting as a depository of documents, providing precedents of documents such as Terms of Reference and timetables, providing information on hearing facilities, assisting in the proposal of and appointment of experts, providing information on court reporting and simultaneous interpretation, facilitating the obtaining of visas for individuals required to attend the hearings, and post-award services such as reminding parties of their obligation to comply with the award.  Parties may also request a service whereby the ICC acts as a depository for VAT due on arbitrators' fees, the expenses of a Tribunal appointed expert or for escrow purposes.  These changes demonstrate the efforts the ICC is going to in order to improve the services it provides to its users.

Signature of Terms of Reference and Awards

The previous requirement was for the signature of a number of originals of the Terms of Reference and Awards.  Originals had to be couriered sequentially to each party and the members of the Tribunal until each original (one for each party and the Tribunal) had been signed by everyone.  However, the Practice Note now provides that, on the condition that the parties agree, the Terms of Reference and Awards can be signed by the parties and the Tribunal members in counterpart and sent to the Secretariat by email.  The purpose of this change is to reduce the time to finalise the Terms of Reference.

Submission of Draft Awards

The ICC may decrease the arbitrator's fees based on the length of time it takes the arbitrator to produce his/her award.  Pursuant to Article 30(1) of the ICC Rules of Arbitration, the time limit in which the Tribunal has had to produce its final award has been six months (although on occasions it takes over a year for a decision).  However, under the new policy, three-member Tribunals are expected to submit their draft awards for scrutiny within three months of the hearing or the final written submissions.  Sole arbitrators are required to submit their draft awards within two months.  If these timeframes are missed, the ICC Court has the discretion to lower the fees of the arbitrator(s).  In the case of a three-member Tribunal, the reduction could be 5—10% for failure to reduce a draft award within 7 months, 10—20% for failure to produce the draft award within 7 to 10 months, and 20% or more if the delay exceeds 10 months.  Cleary, the aim is to speed up the ICC arbitration proceedings.

Timing for Scrutiny of Draft Awards by the ICC Court

Time limits have also been placed on the ICC Court for its scrutiny of awards.  Again, this is with the intention of speeding up proceedings.  Pursuant to the revised Practice Note, all draft awards are to be scrutinised at a Committee Session of the Court within three to four weeks of receipt of the draft award by the Secretariat.  Unjustifiable delays will result in a reduction of the Court's administrative expenses by up to 20%.

Update to the ICC Rules of Arbitration (November 2016)

In addition to modifications to the Practice Note on Conduct of Arbitrations, the ICC Commission on Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution announced on 4 November 2016 the revision of the ICC Rules of Arbitration.  These amendments are to come into force on 1 March 2017.  The new Rules will be applicable to all ICC arbitrations following that date. 

Reasons for Decisions on Procedural Issues (Article 11)

Under Article 11(4) the Court is currently prevented from giving reasons for its decisions on the appointment, confirmation, challenge or replacement of arbitrators.  This provision is to be deleted, meaning that the Court will be able to communicate its reasons which to date has only been possible with the agreement of the parties.  This change is aimed at increasing transparency.

Terms of Reference (Article 23)

The time limit required for establishing the Terms of Reference will be reduced from two months to one month (Article 23(2)).  The objective is to shorten the period by which the arbitral Tribunal can commence its work of getting on and convening a case management conference and, in doing so, be in a position to consult the parties on procedural matters.  Again, the aim is to speed up the arbitration process.

Expedited (Fast Track) Procedure (Article 30)

The most significant update to the ICC Rules is the introduction of an expedited procedure for cases where the sum in dispute does not exceed US$2m (Article 30).  The aim is to ensure that cases of a relatively low value are run in a more cost-efficient manner both for the parties and the ICC Court.  The fast track procedure involves several important procedural modifications including: all cases to be heard by a single arbitrator, there will be no requirement for Terms of Reference, there will be the possibility of cases being decided on documents alone — therefore without the need of a hearing unless the Tribunal decides otherwise — and the final award will have to be provided within six months of the case management conference.  It should be noted that parties do have the opportunity of opting out and it is open to the ICC Court to determine whether the expedited procedure is inappropriate for a particular case. 


These changes demonstrate the efforts that are being made to provide ICC arbitration users with the best possible service.  By addressing the perceived lack of transparency, by addressing concerns over the length of arbitration proceedings, and by increasing the range of services provided by the Secretariat so as to exceed traditional case management services offered by other institutions, they are steps in the right direction to fulfilling Alexis Mourre's vision of making ICC arbitration a more efficient method of dispute resolution.

International Quarterly is produced quartely by Fenwick Elliott LLP, the leading specialist construction law firm in the UK, working with clients in the building, engineering and energy sectors throughout the world.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:
  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.
  • Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.
    If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here
    If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here

    Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

    Use of

    You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


    Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

    The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


    Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

    • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
    • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
    • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

    Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

    Information Collection and Use

    We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

    We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

    Mondaq News Alerts

    In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


    A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

    Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

    Log Files

    We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


    This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

    Surveys & Contests

    From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


    If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


    From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

    *** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .


    This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

    Correcting/Updating Personal Information

    If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

    Notification of Changes

    If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

    How to contact Mondaq

    You can contact us with comments or queries at

    If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.

    By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions