Energy firms remain sceptical of MEA arbitration

By Verity Ratcliffe 18 May 2017
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A rig in Angola. The country acceded to the New York Convention last year. (BP plc) A rig in Angola. The country acceded to the New York Convention last year. (BP plc)

The number of countries in the Middle East and Africa hosting local partners to the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has risen, offering more options for parties to oil and gas disputes in the region. However, uptake has been low compared with other parts of the world, according to speakers at the Annual Conference on Energy Arbitration and Dispute Resolution in the Middle East and Africa in London on Wednesday.

The growth of local arbitration courts in the MEA has been driven by the rising number of in-country disputes. “The number of arbitrations [taken to the LCIA and ICC] involving parties from sub-Saharan Africa is on the increase,” said Rob Wilson, partner and head of energy disputes at law firm CMS. Energy and natural resources disputes represent the biggest share of LCIA arbitrations, and a large proportion concern oil and gas projects.

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