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The unavailability of emergency relief has often been cited in the past as a drawback of arbitration. James Doe and Robin Wood of Herbert Smith Freehills report that emergency provisions are now available and working well. 


  • Critics of arbitration have pointed to the unavailability of emergency relief
  • Arbitral institutions have begun to introduce provisions for emergency arbitration or expedited formation of a tribunal to address these perceived concerns
  • The ICC and LCIA have adopted similar emergency arbitration provisions, although the LCIA also offers the option of expedited formation of the tribunal
  • Such forms of dispute resolution can provide rapid relief on an interim basis but the test applied for entry is likely to be strict and some types of relief are not available
  • The authors have recently represented a client in an ICC emergency arbitration concerning a construction project and were generally impressed with the process


This article was first published in Construction Law, March 2017.

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James Doe

Partner and Joint Global Head of Construction & Infrastructure Disputes, London

James Doe