LCIA Trailblazer With Introduction Of New Ethical Code Of Conduct In 2014 Arbitration Rules

Author:Mr Matthias Kuscher, Marnix Leijten, Eelco Meerdink, Jolbert Smilde and Edward van Geuns
Profession:De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek N.V.

The London Court of International Arbitration has adopted new arbitration rules, which will apply to all arbitration proceedings commenced on or after 1 October 2014, unless the parties agree otherwise. The Annex to the LCIA Rules contains detailed guidelines on the conduct of the parties' legal representatives, and arbitral tribunals have a broad range of enforcement powers to ensure compliance with these guidelines. Further significant additions to the previous rules include expanded provisions for an emergency arbitrator procedure and provisions for the consolidation of arbitrations. Parties envisaging dispute resolution under the LCIA Rules on or after 1 October 2014 should be aware of the changes in the new Rules, and in particular of the guidelines on the conduct of parties' legal representatives.

What is new?

Guideline for parties' legal representatives

As compared to the recently revised rules of other leading arbitration institutions, the most striking difference in LCIA's new Arbitration Rules is the introduction of detailed guidelines on the conduct of the parties' legal representatives. These guidelines apply to the named legal representatives of the parties, but do not derogate from any mandatory rule of law, professional rule or code of conduct applicable to such legal representatives. In 2013, the International Bar Association (IBA) released its Guidelines on Party Representation in order to give parties the option to adopt a uniform standard code of conduct to govern legal representatives in international arbitration (see also In Context 13 January 2014).

However, this is the first time that an arbitral institution includes provisions on the conduct of counsel in its own rules. Also, there is a significant difference between the IBA Guidelines and the LCIA Rules: under the new LCIA Rules, parties are required to ensure that their named legal representatives appearing in an LCIA arbitration agree to comply with the guidelines, while the IBA Guidelines provide a voluntary code of conduct, which only governs the conduct of counsel if all parties have opted in. An arbitral tribunal in an LCIA arbitration now has the power to determine whether any of the guidelines have been violated by a party representative and, if so, to impose sanctions. The sanctions range from written reprimands, written warnings as to future conduct in the arbitration, and any other measure necessary for the arbitral tribunal to fulfil its general duties.


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