International Arbitration


What is international arbitration?

International arbitration is arbitration between parties not solely within English jurisdiction.

The majority of international construction contracts contain an arbitration clause, ensuring that disputes will be referred to arbitration as opposed to litigation, due to the complications involved with cross-border disputes and varying legal systems, leading to uncertain results.

How can Barton Legal advise on international agreements?

It is increasingly common for international contracts to be written in English and be subject to English Law. As an experienced English Law Firm, Barton Legal can advise on the administration of English Law and how this affects you.

An international arbitration may have the seat of the arbitration in any number of locations dependent on the arbitration clause; however, the legal work can still be carried out in England allowing you to rely upon English consultants and counsel.

We can help you to identify and instruct the right people for any specific aspect of your case, or for the overall administration of the dispute.

What is the ‘ICC’?

Many international arbitration clauses refer to the International Chamber of Commerce (“ICC”) Rules of Arbitration which are a set of rules administered by the international arbitration body – the ICC Court of Arbitration (“the Court”).

What is the role of the ICC Court?

The Court is headquartered in Paris and has offices all over the world. It is considered to be a leading institution for international arbitration. 

The Court does not itself resolve disputes and its purpose is to scrutinise and approve awards before they are given to parties. The Court is the only body authorised to administer arbitrations under the ICC Rules (ICC Rules, Article 1(2)).

The place of the arbitration is fixed by the Court, unless agreed upon by the parties, and the ICC appoints the arbitrator.

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Bill Barton


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Frequently asked questions

Firstly, the arbitration clause must be checked to make sure the ICC Rules apply and that the claim falls within its scope.

Barton Legal have vast experience of interpreting arbitration clauses and are happy to assist in interpreting and explaining the Rules and process to be applied.

Once established that the ICC Rules are applicable, the Claimant (i.e. person wishing to commence the arbitration) must submit a Request for Arbitration (“Request”).

The Secretariat acknowledges receipt of the Request to both the Claimant and Respondent.

Upon the Claimant paying the filing fee, the Secretariat will then send the Request to the Respondent who must send the “Answer” and any counterclaims, within 30 days.

Extensions of time may be granted subject to the discretion of the Secretariat,

The arbitration will then be determined by the Arbitral Tribunal, unless the Secretariat refers the matter to the Court for a decision, in cases where: no Answer is received; there are complications regarding the interpretation of the arbitration clause; or there are multiple claims.

Key considerations for an arbitration clause referring to the ICC Rules

  • Do the ICC Rules actually apply to my case?
  • Is my claim time-barred i.e. outside of the limitation period? This will depend on the type of claim and the contract.
  • Would I consider settling my case pre-arbitration and attempt settlement discussions with the other side?
  • Am I prepared if the matter does go to arbitration given the quick turnaround? Do I have my documents, chronology and evidence in order?
  • Have I complied with the time limits for filing the documents under the ICC Rules/have I diarised these?

We have a comprehensive understanding of the ICC Rules and role of the Court. Our experience in interpreting arbitration clauses allows us to advise on the procedure and preparatory steps to be taken when faced with an arbitration clause interpreting the ICC Rules.

International arbitration relating to collapsed steel frame building (Sarajevo – Bosnia) requiring significant liaison with Bosnian government and British Embassy. Contract was on amended form of dom/2 and the steel fabricator was also responsible for the erection; this was for a new European distribution and manufacturing base; dispute concerned the applicability of European snow codes and responsibility for this within the design; proceedings issued in London by distribution company and arbitration panel appointed; claims subrogated to insurers and retained to act for client insurer; matter settled following exchange of draft expert reports.