SCC RELEASES STATISTICS FOR 2020
Highlights of SCC’s statistics for 2020 include a strong increase in the total share of women arbitrators appointed, a shortened average time from the point of referral to the final award compared to previous years, and the second-highest caseload in SCC history.
For the first time, SCC arbitrator appointments included nearly as many women as men: 47% of the SCC-appointed arbitrators were female, compared to 32% in 2019. The relative gender parity of SCC appointments results from a conscious choice, based on both practical and moral imperatives, to integrate the diversity perspective in the arbitrator selection process. As discussed in SCC’s recent diversity rapport, however, approximately only one-third of arbitrators are appointed by the SCC, and two-thirds by the parties. In 2020, the parties appointed 23% women – an increase from 16% the year before – bringing the average share of female appointments to 31%. The increase continues the strong trend seen over the last few years.
Shortened time from referral to award
The arbitrations concluded in 2020 saw a shortened average time from the point of referral to the final award compared to previous years. For the awards rendered under the Arbitration Rules, 40% were rendered within six months from referral to the tribunal, and another 42% were rendered within 12 months. This compares to 27% within 6 months and 50% within 12 months in 2019.
The trend of faster proceedings follows the adoption of the new SCC Rules in 2017, which include additional emphasis on efficiency and expeditiousness in the proceedings. This, coupled with the launch of the SCC Platform, an increased focus on efficient proceedings in the arbitration community in general and an increased use of virtual hearings (see SCC’s report on virtual hearings), may explain this positive trend.
For awards rendered under the Rules for Expedited Arbitration, 49% were rendered within 3 months of referral, and another 40% were rendered within 6 months.
Higher number of registered cases
The SCC registered a total of 213 cases in 2020:131 under the SCC Arbitration Rules, 67 under the SCC Rules for Expedited Arbitrations, and five emergency arbitrator applications.The number of new arbitrations was significantly higher than in 2019, which saw 175 new cases, and may be related to the impact of covid-19 on business and trade. The SCC experienced a similar spike in its caseload in 2009, the year following the global financial crisis.
Around half of the disputes (105) were international, involving parties from 42 countries and arbitrators from 22 countries.The most common party nationalities were Norwegian, Finnish and Ukrainian, and there were more cases involving Lithuanian parties in 2020 than in any previous year. All cases had their arbitral seat in Sweden except five, two of which were seated in London and Helsinki, respectively and one in Copenhagen. Swedish substantive law applied in at least 150 of the 213 cases.
Increased total value in dispute
Four new investment treaty arbitrations were registered 2020, compared to six in each of 2019 and 2018.All four such cases were filed under bilateral investment treaties and all involved at least one non-EU state. Two of the cases involved the application for an emergency arbitrator.
The total value in dispute for all cases registered in 2020 amounted to slightly more than 2 billion EUR, which marks an increase over previous years commensurate with the increased number of cases.