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London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) shuts down in India after tiny uptake

Rowley in Delhi today ends LCIA India chapter
Rowley in Delhi today ends LCIA India chapter

The London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) will shut down its India-based operation after a lack of uptake.

The decision was made in January of this year; LCIA India registrar Ajay Thomas left the LCIA late last year.

“We just have to accept that it is not going to be an economic offering. We simply didn’t have enough cases,” said LCIA board chairman Bill Rowley QC, of barristers chamber 20 Essex Court today at an event in Delhi.

“That doesn’t mean that LCIA India [arbitration] clauses were not written,” he noted, adding that a number of LCIA India arbitrations were afoot and would continue being supervised from London.

But after 1 June of this year the LCIA will not administer any new cases with new LCIA India arbitration clauses, though it would honour existing LCIA India clauses in contracts.

LCIA director general Jackie van Haersolte-van Hof added: “Had there been many cases [in India] that decision would never have been made. The reality is that we haven’t seen enough evidence of cases arising.”

“It’s been many years that we’ve been here. If you look at those numbers (of cases), the market has had the opportunity to take up these clauses and decided the time wasn’t right,” she said. “There weren’t enough clauses to justify having a separate offering here.”

The board had to decide whether it would continue with “a two track path” of standard LCIA cases and LCIA India cases, or whether to just roll everything into the main LCIA institution, which would continue to offer arbitrations in any location but simply managed from London, said van Haersolte-van Hof.

The board chose the latter, since LCIA India cases never managed to exceed the number of cases under standard LCIA rules with Indian parties.

To be updated.

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