2011 proved to be another strong year for arbitration in Asia. All leading arbitral organisations in the region reported a healthy case load. SIAC received 188 new cases, a slight decrease from 198 commenced in the previous year. However the average amount in dispute increased significantly. Parties to SIAC arbitrations came from 41 countries. During the year SIAC appointed two emergency arbitrators and received 19 requests for application of its expedited procedure.
HKIAC handled 275 arbitration cases in 2011, 65 per cent of which were international and 35 per cent domestic. Of the total, 41 cases were administered by HKIAC in accordance with its rules. The top five jurisdictions, other than Hong Kong, where parties came from comprised China, United States, Singapore, BVI, Korea and Japan.
In 2011 KLRCA had 85 cases, an increase from the 73 cases in the previous year. International cases registered with the centre constituted about 20 per cent of the total number of cases. The JCAA registered 19 new international arbitration cases in 2011 - a drop from the record year of 2010 when 27 cases were received. ACICA, based in Sydney, had a successful year registering over 30 new cases. 2011 saw the launch of the new ACICA Arbitration Rules which include provision for the appointment of emergency arbitrators.
In mainland China, CIETAC received 965 domestic cases and 470 international cases (involving at least one foreign party) in 2011. The Beijing Arbitration Commission recorded 1433 new domestic cases and 38 international cases.
2012 promises to be another positive year for arbitration in Asia. Early indications suggest an increase in case numbers. From 10 to 13 June SIAC will host the ICCA Congress and some 800 participants are expected. SIAC will also revise its panel of arbitrators later in the year. HKIAC is undertaking an expansion of its premises which will involve taking over the remaining area of the 38th floor at Two Exchange Square. This will enable HKIAC to significantly increase its hearing facilities. HKIAC is also undertaking a review of the existing 2008 Rules.
A notable development in the region is the number of law firms from Europe and North America opening offices in Asia. This trend, which commenced several years ago, appears to be accelerating. It is a sign of confidence and an indication of growth in dispute resolution services in the region.