The London Maritime Arbitrators’ Association (“LMAA”) has published a revised version of its Terms, to apply to all references commenced on or after 1 January 2012 (to be referred to as the “LMAA Terms 2012”).

Key differences between the LMAA Terms 2012 and the previous version include:

(a)    A Tribunal will be deemed to be made up of three arbitrators if the relevant arbitration agreement is silent as to the number and method of appointment of arbitrators. This saves both the time and costs incurred in applying to the court for appointment of an arbitrator.

(b)   A Tribunal now specifically has a discretion as to how to deal with new issues raised after the commencement of proceedings. The intention of this provision is to deal with cases where parties seek to introduce new issues at a late stage in the reference.

(c)    The Tribunal will make the ultimate decision as regards the procedure for a particular arbitration.

(d)   When requested, a Tribunal should seek to give an estimate of the time expected to produce an award.

(e)    Final submissions as to costs should be made not later than 3 months after the end of an award.

(f)     Claim submissions should normally be served within 28 days of a notice of arbitration being given.

(g)    Parties and their lawyers should refrain from copying the Tribunal in on routine correspondence.

The main amendments appear to be aimed at improving the efficiency of arbitration references, both in terms of time and costs.

A full copy of the LMAA Terms 2012 is available on the LMAA website, together with revised versions of the LMAA Small and Intermediate Claims Procedures.