International Arbitration: Corporate Attitudes and Practices 2008

Corporate attitudes and practices: recognition and enforcement of foreign awards


June 2008

Following the success of the pioneering research "International Arbitration: Corporate Attitudes and Practices 2006", PricewaterhouseCoopers has again sponsored the School of International Arbitration, Queen Mary, University of London to study the perceptions and attitude of major corporations on the subject of the enforcements of international arbitration awards.  

In the video above, Gerry Lagerberg, forensic services partner, and Professor Loukas Mistelis, Director of the School of International Arbitration at Queen Mary's University of London, discuss the key findings from the study. Video length - 4:17 mins

"International Arbitration: Corporate Attitudes and Practices 2008", explores the results of research conducted over a six-month period and summarises data from 82 questionnaires and 47 interviews on:

  • Their perceptions and experiences of the enforcement of awards; and
  • Where awards have not needed to be enforced, the experience of settlements at various stages in arbitration proceedings (from before the first hearing through to after an award has been rendered).

The results provide valuable insights for any business that trades or invests abroad and seeks assurance on the dispute resolution options available to it. The results show that international arbitration remains global companies' preferred dispute resolution mechanism for cross-border disputes, that international arbitration is effective in practice and that when cases proceed to an enforcement stage, the prevailing party usually achieves a satisfactory result. Key findings:

  • 86% of counsel are satisfied with International Arbitration
  • Corporations prefer institutional arbitration to ad hoc arbitration (86% of awards rendered through institutions)
  • 92% of arbitration disputes are successfully resolved at some stage through the arbitration proceedings
  • There is a high degree of compliance with arbitral awards (84% of counsel said that the non-prevailing party complied voluntarily in more than 76% of cases)
  • There is a high level of recovery through settlement (35% of corporations surveyed stated they achieved more than 76% of the value of the award)
  • Enforcement proceedings usually result in a rapid result (less than one year in 57% of cases)
  • Recovery through enforcement is high (84% of corporations surveyed recover more than 75% of the award)
  • Where corporations have experienced problems with enforcement, the problems were more commonly due to the circumstances (i.e. lack of traceable assets of the non-prevailing party) that the enforcement process itself

Over half of the respondents who had sought to enforce awards against states had encountered no major difficulties. Most of the difficulties encountered related to problems with identifying or obtaining access to relevant assets.