Arbitration Newsflashes

ICC Caseload Statistics 2023: Switzerland Strengthens Leading Role in International Arbitration


The ICC International Court of Arbitration has released its latest caseload report containing an overview of the institutions' dispute resolution figures for 2023. Here are some of the key takeaways:

2023 Marks the Third Busiest Year in the ICC's History

In 2023, the ICC registered a total of 890 cases, making it the third busiest year in the institution's 100-year history. By the end of 2023, 1,766 cases were being administered across the ICC's offices in Paris, New York, Sao Paulo, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Abu Dhabi.

Seat of Arbitration: Switzerland Among Top Three Choices Globally

In the majority of cases, the place of arbitration is chosen by the parties. The ICC Court only fixes the place of arbitration where the parties fail to agree. In 2023, the ICC Court exercised this discretion in only 8% of all cases.

In 2023, ICC arbitrations were seated in 116 cities across 63 countries worldwide. As in previous years, Switzerland ranked as the third most frequently chosen seat of arbitration in the world, reaffirming its leading role in international dispute resolution.

Swiss Law: Most Frequently Chosen Civil Law

Swiss law is neutral, pragmatic and business-friendly, and as such is a popular choice of law in international commercial contracts. Swiss contract law offers the parties extensive freedom to tailor their contract – including general terms and conditions – to their commercial needs, more than in almost any other jurisdiction. At the same time, Swiss law contains reliable and commercially sensible provisions to supplement terms that the parties may not have contemplated when drafting their contract.

Choice-of-law clauses were included in contractual provisions in 95% of all ICC cases last year. The popularity of Swiss contract law is confirmed in the 2023 ICC statistics. Swiss law has risen from third place in 2022 to second place in 2023 in terms of the most-chosen laws in ICC arbitrations. It is the most frequently chosen civil law in the world.

Swiss Arbitrators: Third Most Frequently Chosen

In 2023, 57% of arbitrator appointments were made directly by the parties. The ICC Court appointed 27% of the arbitrators, while 16% were appointed by co-arbitrators. Consistent with previous years, 60% of cases were adjudicated by a three-member tribunal, while 40% were heard by sole arbitrators.

Swiss arbitrators continue to be a popular choice in ICC proceedings, ranking third globally in terms of nationality of arbitrators.  

2023 saw a record number of 269 women arbitrators from 66 jurisdictions being confirmed or appointed. Women arbitrators constituted 29.7% of all appointments, with significant contributions across various roles: 42% acted as co-arbitrator, 32% as president, and 26% as sole arbitrator. These statistics reflect first results in the ongoing mission of the dispute resolution community towards improving gender diversity in international arbitration.

Top Sectors: Construction and Energy

Cases filed in 2023 covered a wide range of sectors. As in previous years, disputes from the construction, engineering, and energy sectors generated the largest number of ICC cases, accounting for 45% of the total cases.

Other represented sectors include industrial equipment and services, transportation, health, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, metal and raw materials, general trade and distribution, or financing and insurance.

Multiparty Proceedings and Expedited Procedure Provisions

Approximately one-third of ICC cases in 2023 involved multiple parties, highlighting the complexity and collaborative nature of modern arbitration disputes.

The ICC Expedited Procedure Provisions streamline the arbitration to conclude within six months of the case management conference for cases with an amount in dispute of under USD 3 million. The ICC Expedited Procedure was widely used in 2023, with new cases increasing by over 50% from the previous year (189 new cases were registered).

The ICC 2023 Caseload Statistics confirm the status of international arbitration as a popular and reliable form of dispute resolution, and highlight the leading role of Switzerland in international arbitration.


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