Choosing your arbitral tribunal
Produced in partnership with Vinson & Elkins LLP
Choosing your arbitral tribunal

The following Arbitration guidance note Produced in partnership with Vinson & Elkins LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Choosing your arbitral tribunal
  • The relevance of the arbitration agreement
  • Practical considerations when choosing an arbitrator
  • Short-listing tribunal candidates

Appointing the right arbitral tribunal is key to the success of the arbitration in both administrative and legal terms. Parties involved in the appointment/nomination of the tribunal should take the appointment stage seriously to ensure that the correct people are appointed.

The relevance of the arbitration agreement

The first thing to do is to check what provisions the arbitration agreement makes (if any) for the appointment of the tribunal:

  1. what does your arbitration agreement require? Are there specific requirements as to the qualifications, skill set, level of experience or nationality of your arbitrators?

  2. does the choice of seat or legal place of the arbitration impact on this (eg requirement to be a lawyer, or a national of a certain jurisdiction)?

  3. provisions of any relevant arbitration rules—if the arbitration agreement incorporates a set of arbitration rules then those rules will usually determine how the tribunal will be appointed and the timescale for doing so. Note: if your tribunal is made up of a sole arbitrator, then it is likely that you will want an experienced candidate who will be agreed by the other side. The same logic applies to the choice of a chair on a three person