In recent years, leading arbitral institutions have been developing innovative ways to promote efficiency and reduce costs in arbitration proceedings, especially in relation to lower value claims. The new version of the ICC Arbitration Rules (“ICC Rules”) which entered into force on 1 March 2017 provides such innovations, which are discussed below.

Expedited Procedure for Disputes in the Amount of USD 2 million or less

The most important change in the new ICC Rules 2017 is the introduction of the Expedited Procedure provisions. These Rules will automatically apply to ICC arbitrations with a dispute value of up to USD 2 million, unless excluded by the arbitration agreement, provided that the arbitration agreement was concluded after 1 March 2017. Conversely, parties seeking a simplified procedural framework for cases worth over USD 2 million can opt-in and use the Expedited Procedure Rules, although the procedure may not be suitable for complex cases involving jurisdictional disputes, arbitrator challenges or extensive factual and expert evidence. In 2015, approximately one third of the 801 cases filed with the ICC were of a value equal to or less than USD 2 million, so there is a clear commercial need for such cost-effective, expedited arbitration procedures.

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Sam Luttrell, Counsel, Clifford Chance, Perth

Sean Marriott, Senior Associate, Clifford Chance, Perth