Statistics Show That London Remains the Most Trusted Jurisdiction for Resolving Shipping Disputes : Holman Fenwick Willan (HFW)

An analysis carried out by law firm Holman Fenwick Willan (HFW) has found that London remains far and away the most trusted jurisdiction for resolving shipping disputes.

In London approximately 1700 individual maritime arbitrations were handled by the LMAA alone in 2016.  In the same period a total number of over 1750 maritime arbitrations were held in London when LCIA and ICC disputes are included.

London’s strongest competitor Singapore saw less than 10% of London’s maritime arbitration case load in 2016, with just over about 120 SIAC, SCMA, LMAA and ICC cases in Singapore in 2016.

Hong Kong is coming up behind Singapore, promoting itself as an alternative regional centre and gateway to mainland China.  In Hong Kong HKIAC dealt with approximately 36 maritime arbitrations in the same year and up to around 10 LMAA arbitrations were seated in Hong Kong.  

The numbers show both centres have some way to go to attract the bulk of the industry’s litigants.

Dubai is another centre to watch, and is building itself into a regional and global maritime hub.  In Europe, Paris has a long-standing reputation as a maritime arbitration forum.  Dubai and Paris arbitration institutions together hosted fewer than 20 maritime arbitrations in total in 2016.  At the moment neither jurisdiction is a major challenger to London.


Although there are numerous maritime arbitrations taking place in mainland China, these generally involve at least one domestic party.  Mainland Chinese maritime arbitration is currently rarely chosen by international maritime companies with no connection to China.

Comparing London’s maritime arbitration volumes for 2016 with the volumes of arbitration at the key maritime arbitration centres outside London shows the degree of London’s current dominance.

The numbers show that London remains strongly in favour with the industry and is currently likely to be dealing with over 80% of all maritime arbitrations.

(The statistics above are HFW's best estimates produced from the figures for maritime arbitrations both published and provided on request. They cannot completely capture all maritime arbitrations as not all arbitration institutions provide full breakdowns by jurisdiction and sector and ad hoc arbitrations are difficult to track).

The above analysis was carried out by Rebecca Warder, Craig Neame and George Eddings of HFW.

Source: Press Note
David Morriss, Partner
Holman Fenwick Willan (HFW)

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