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LMAA discusses future positions in maritime arbitration

Posted on: 15 February 2021

On 10 February, the London Maritime Arbitrators’ Association (LMAA) President, Bruce Harris and Honorary Secretary, Daniella Horton, presented ‘The Market and Maritime Arbitration’ webinar, jointly organised by the Association’s long standing friends, the Baltic Exchange and the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. The webinar, hosted and moderated by the Baltic’s Crispin Ecclestone, was watched live by an audience of some 150 participants (a recording of the event can be accessed here).

The webinar was sub-titled A Recap and Some Possible Future Positions. Bruce Harris first set out the LMAA’s long-standing relationship with the Baltic, the organisation from which the Association developed and with whom the Association still resides in London. The role of an arbitrator was explained and, in answer to questions received in advance of the event, Bruce addressed why London arbitration is so prevalent and remains consistently popular within the shipping industry, with reference to the London maritime services cluster – still the largest in the worls – and what type of disputes typically arise for determination in London arbitration.

Daniella Horton then addressed the three key ingredients needed for an efficient arbitration clause, emphasised the importance of agreeing a set of procedural rules, alongside a place of arbitration and a governing law, and set out the sets of the procedural rules available in LMAA arbitration, collectively the LMAA Terms and Procedures. Daniella then looked at the newly published LMAA arbitration statistics 2020, further details of which can be found via the below link and explained why the majority of London arbitration cases (some 70%) proceed on the documents, without the additional expense of an oral hearing.

Bruce then touched on some key procedural points, including disclosure, expert evidence and mitigation. Daniella addressed the role brokers and operational teams can play in supporting their clients during the course of an arbitration and returned to the arbitration agreement, to raise awareness of the possible pitfalls of agreeing a hybrid arbitration clause.

Finally, Bruce addressed the role of the mediator, as distinct from the arbitrator, and discussed the role mediation can play within the context of an arbitration.

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