The LCIA released its 2017 Casework Report on 10 April 2018. The Report analyses the statistics from the LCIA 2017 caseload and contains a range of data broken down by sector, contract type and time elapsed since the underlying agreement was reached.

Some of the key points of interest from the Report are:

The geographical spread of LCIA arbitration parties remains wide. 

There has been a significant increase in female arbitrators being selected by the parties themselves. 

In terms of industry sectors, the most substantial changes in volume were professional services arbitrations and infrastructure arbitrations.

Challenges were once again rare in LCIA arbitrations. 

Security for costs was the most recurrently sought, and successful, form of interim relief.

Geographical spread

Over 80% of parties in pending LCIA cases were from outside of the UK.

85% of disputes submitted to arbitration had chosen English law to govern their contracts.

94% of arbitrations commenced under the LCIA Rules were seated in London (this includes the number of arbitrations where the default seat was London due to no express choice being made by parties).

In terms of particular region increases:

In 2016, 5.8% of parties came from North America, but in 2017 this number increased to 11%.

Similarly, in 2016 16.7% of parties came from Western Europe, whereas in 2017 this increased to 19.3%.

Diversity of arbitrators

Out of the 412 appointments of 241 different arbitrators:

24% of arbitrator appointments (97 out of 412) were of women, which is a 3% increase from 2016.

There has been a significant increase in the proportion of female arbitrators being selected by the parties themselves, which was 17% of the time, in comparison to 4% in 2016.

• Of all the female arbitrators appointed, 57% were as a result of the LCIA’s selection.
Industry sectors by dispute

In 2017, banking and finance (24%) and energy and resources (24%) disputes continued to make up the bulk of arbitrations referred to the LCIA, with a considerable number of transportation and commodities arbitrations (11%).

Of the banking and finance disputes, parties were more often claimants than respondents.

The most substantial change however is in connection with professional services arbitrations, which have doubled from 5% to 10%, and construction and infrastructure arbitrations, which have halved from 15% to 7%.

It should be noted however that the LCIA believes these changes are due to annual fluctuations rather than long term trends.

Underlying Agreements

In 2017, most disputes concerned loan agreements (24%), service agreements (24%), and sale of goods agreements (21%).

There has also been an increase in the number of disputes relating to loan agreements, which has risen from 13% to 24% since 2016.


Challenges were once again rare in LCIA arbitrations.

In 2017, only 6 challenges were made, and all 3 decided by the end of 2017 were rejected.

For the first time, the LCIA has published digests of its challenge decisions from 2010 to 2017 on its website.

Interim Relief

For the first time the LCIA released statistics regarding applications for interim relief:

68 applications for interim and conservatory measures were made in 2017. Relief was granted in 17 instances and rejected in 30 others.

In 2017, not only was security for costs the most frequently sought form of interim relief (31 applications made), it was also the most frequently successful (32% of security for costs applications for were approved).

The full report can be viewed here.

Stephen Lacey and Sadie Buls would like to thank Nicole Chui and Tanya Sadoughi for their assistance in writing this article.

Sadie Buls

Managing PSL
+4420 7456 4008
Email Sadie

Stephen Lacey

Counsel PSL
+44207456 [5156]
Email Stephen