London has long been a favored site for international arbitration. The English Arbitration Act of 1996, which took effect on January 31, 1997, is part of a series of reforms of judicial process in England. The new Arbitration Act is intended to make London a still more hospitable arbitration forum. The Act seems likely to achieve its purpose. It makes an already serviceable body of arbitration law somewhat better and a good deal more accessible.
Parties to existing arbitration agreements that call for English arbitration should review their existing agreements in light of the provision of the new Act. Some changes in the agreements may be advisable. Parties who draft agreements in the future also will need to examine the new Act carefully to take full advantage of the wide latitude that the Act gives them in designing arbitration procedures.
For the full story, please view the PDF.