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London maritime arbitration’s leading role recognised

Posted on: 17 January 2018

There has been some speculation in legal and trade journals about the possible impact of Brexit on London maritime arbitration. Some of this seems to be ill-informed. In many cases it is no more than publicity for groups who would hope to profit from an erosion of London’s leading position as a venue for the determination of disputes in the maritime industries. President of the LMAA, Ian Gaunt, says:

“There is no reason whatsoever that Brexit will have any negative impact on the way London maritime arbitration is conducted or the way in which post-Brexit London arbitration awards may be enforced under the New York Convention in over 150 countries worldwide. Arbitration is effectively excluded from EU regulation and it can be confidently said that the outcome of the British Government’s negotiations with the EU will have virtually no impact on London maritime arbitration. There are no doubt some who might wish otherwise and look to profit from speculation about this, but they are mistaken.”

In a recent speech Lord Keen of Elie Q.C. the Advocate General and a leading Government spokesman on UK legal services, emphasised the leading position of London as a centre for the resolution of maritime disputes and in particular the role of the London Maritime Arbitrators Association (LMAA).

Giving the keynote speech at the Paris Conference of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Lord Keen said:

“Competition from other global legal centres notwithstanding, London remains far and away the most popular seat for arbitrating maritime disputes internationally, and ad hoc arbitration conducted under the London Maritime Arbitrators Association Terms is the most popular form of arbitration in London by a very large margin. The LMAA is the forum of choice for maritime disputes and nearly all the cases decided in London on those terms and procedures involve parties who have no connection with England other than their choice of English law and a London seat for the arbitration of their dispute.”

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