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*International Arbitration

Published on June 8th, 2018 | by Olga Papadopoulou

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Arbitral Seats – An Empirical Overview

Kluwer Arbitration Blog

Arbitral Seats – An Empirical Overview

Stavros Brekoulakis, Adrian Hodiș (Queen Mary University of London)/May 17, 2018 /Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb)

On 9 May 2018, the School of International Arbitration at Queen Mary University of London, in partnership with White & Case LLP, launched the Report of the 2018 Queen Mary/White & Case International Arbitration Survey: The Evolution of International Arbitration. As its title suggests, the survey sought to assess user perceptions of the evolution of key issues in international arbitration, both by looking at recent developments but also by challenging respondents to predict what the future of international arbitration might hold in store. The findings of the survey draw from 922 questionnaire responses and 142 interviews. The record number of responses and interviews, as well as the wide geographical spread of contributing users [1], make this survey the most comprehensive empirical study that has ever been conducted in international arbitration.

One of the key topics addressed by the 2018 Survey is the recent evolution of arbitral seats. In particular, the survey sought to identify (1) the seats that users prefer, and (2) what drives their preferences.

Preferred seats

Global rankings

In our 2015 Survey, seven seats emerged as the most popular amongst respondents, in the following order: London (47%), Paris (38%), Hong Kong (30%), Singapore (24%), Geneva (17%), New York (12%), and Stockholm (11%)[2] Three years later, perhaps unsurprisingly, the top seven ranking of the most preferred seats is populated by these same seven cities. What is more, their order of preference is also largely left unchanged: London (64%), Paris (53%), Singapore (39%), Hong Kong (28%), Geneva (26%), New York (22%), and Stockholm (12%)….

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