“Favoritism” and the London Court of International Arbitration

The Globe and Mail
February 21, 2011

Canada and the United States selected the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) to settle disputes that arose out of the 2006 softwood lumber agreement which limited Canada’s exports to the United States. Canada has lost in the last two arbitrations although it is too soon to tell if a pattern of favoritism has emerged.

Given that the US is party to nearly half of all LCIA arbitrations, there are concerns that the institution does not serve the interests of a defendant like Canada is who is not a “repeat-player.” It does not help that Canada has little clout in the arbitration world and pays awards without many complaints.

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