The LCIA’s casework report for 2023 in review

The London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) has recently released its casework report for 2023. The report provides a comprehensive review of LCIA case-related trends throughout 2023. We summarise some of the key highlights below.

  • Caseload trends

With the exception of a peak during Covid, LCIA referrals have grown steadily over the last 10 years. Of the 377 referrals in 2023, 87% were referrals for LCIA arbitrations, with the remainder predominantly for fundholding arbitrations and other ADR services.

The sums claimed, however, have significantly increased. In 2023, just under a third of claims at the Request for Arbitration stage were for over $20 million, up from 19% in 2022. Nearly 10% of these are for sums over $100 million.

More generally, whilst parties are mixing and matching the applicable law of the dispute and seat more frequently than before, a significant proportion of LCIA arbitrations (83%) still match London as the seat and England and Wales as the applicable law.

  • Industry sectors

Transport and commodities cases continued to dominate, with 36% of cases in this industry (similar to 2022, which saw 37%). This is likely a consequence of rising energy prices globally and continued supply chain issues. Equally, sale of goods contracts were the most common type of agreement in LCIA arbitrations (31%), the majority of which were related to commodities. The second two most dominant industries were banking and finance (16%) and energy and resources (14%).

Interestingly, nearly half of LCIA arbitrations in 2023 were brought in relation to agreements dated within the previous two years, up from 42% in 2022 and 35% in 2021. This trend is perhaps reflective of parties’ desire to quickly arbitrate disputes, rather than engage in ongoing negotiations.

  • Parties

International parties continue to use LCIA arbitrations. In 2023, parties in LCIA arbitrations originated from 91 different countries, with 17% of arbitrations involving one UK party but only 4% involving solely UK parties.

Importantly, there has been a significant increase in parties from Saudi Arabia (4.2% in 2023, up from 0.8% in 2022) and Africa (8% in 2023, up from 4% in 2022). Contrastingly, the percentage of parties from Singapore, China, Hong Kong and Pakistan has more than halved since 2022.

  • Tribunals


Nearly two thirds of arbitrators were either selected by the parties or by the parties’ nominated arbitrators, with the remainder selected by the LCIA Court. Where appropriate, parties generally chose to consolidate arbitrations prior to the appointment of the Tribunal. Consolidation applications were usually granted, with only 2% rejected in 2023.

Parties have continued to apply for the expedited formation of tribunals under Article 9A of the LCIA Rules, requesting this more often than emergency arbitration under Article 9B. However, applications under both Articles enjoy limited success, with applications only granted in c.20% of cases.


Reflecting an ongoing 10-year trend, three-member tribunals continue to be more commonly used over sole arbitrators. However, tribunal secretaries were appointed infrequently, with only 15% of LCIA arbitrations using a tribunal secretary in 2023.

There remains an ongoing push for diversity in tribunal appointments, predominantly led by the LCIA Court, which almost reached gender parity in its selection of arbitrators. Co-arbitrators have also assisted, with 39% of all co-arbitrator appointments being women (up from 23% in 2022). However, only 21% of appointments made by the parties were for women, showing more can still be done by practitioners and parties, as increased representation can only enrich international arbitration and its community.

  • Interim relief

Interim relief applications enjoy limited success. In 2023, 58 applications for interim relief were made (the majority for security for costs), however only one third were granted, with another third either pending or superseded and one third rejected. For security for costs specifically, 22% were granted and 40% were rejected (with the remainder either pending or superseded).

Equally, only 20% of early determination applications were granted, with 63% rejected and the remainder pending or withdrawn.

Click here to access the LCIA’s 2023 casework report in full.