Choosing the seat of arbitration
Choosing the seat of arbitration

The following Arbitration guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Choosing the seat of arbitration

The choice of the seat or legal place of the arbitration is one of the most important matters to be considered when drafting an international arbitration agreement as the seat is the juridical (legal) domicile of the arbitration. For more information on the importance of the arbitral seat and how it is determined, see Practice Note: The seat of the arbitration.

Relevant criteria to be considered by parties and practitioners when choosing a seat of arbitration, and questions to be asked relating to them, are set out in the table below, although the appropriate seat for a particular arbitration agreement within a particular contract will, of course, be informed by the circumstances of the case. Debevoise & Plimpton set out their top five seats generally recommended in their publication, Debevoise International Arbitration Clause Handbook, which are (in alphabetical order): Hong Kong, London, New York, Paris and Singapore. The Queen Mary, University of London International Arbitration Surveys also indicate which seats are considered popular among respondents. In the 2018 survey, produced in partnership with White & Case LLP, London was the most popular seat of arbitration (among respondents from every region), followed by Paris, Singapore, Hong Kong and Geneva.

Also, the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) has published a set of ten principles, officially titled the CIArb London Centenary Principles, aimed at helping parties