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83 new cases in 2021: the 2nd highest number of annual registrations

CRCICA CASELOAD 2021

The total number of cases filed before CRCICA until 31 December 2021 reached 1535 cases. In 2021, 83 new cases were filed, compared to 67 cases in 2020, the second highest number of annual registrations since 2016. Of the 83 cases filed this year, 17 related to ad hoc proceedings. Further, 6 mediations were referred to the Centre in 2021 compared to 1 in 2020. The Centre also registered its first 2 dispute board cases in 2021, following the issuance of the Dispute Board Rules on 1 August 2021.

The Centre’s caseload during 2021 involved disputes relating to an ever increasingly varied number of sectors, including: Construction, Corporate Restructuring, Oil & Gas, Banking & Finance, Media & Entertainment, Transport, Tourism & Hospitality, Real Estate Development, Sports and Investment.

Disputes arising from the Construction Sector just about managed to secure the top spot, representing 17% of the total number of cases, compared to nearly 32% of the cases in 2020. As in 2020, disputes arising from Corporate Restructuring agreements ranked second, making up nearly 11% of the total number of cases. These were closely followed by Oil & Gas disputes in third place, representing almost 10% of the total number of cases. Disputes arising from the Banking & Finance (8%), Media & Entertainment (7%), Transport (6%) and Tourism & Hospitality (5%) sectors bring up the rest of the top spots.

The parties to disputes included 34 Non-Egyptian parties. Parties from the United Arab Emirates ranked at the top of Non-Egyptian parties referring their disputes to the Centre, with 6 parties, followed by parties from Malta and the United Kingdom, with 5 parties each, and then parties from Saudi Arabia, with 3 parties.

There were also parties from the Bahamas, the British Virgin Islands, Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Italy, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Panama, South Africa, Ukraine and the United States of America.

It is worth noting that these conservative figures do not include Egyptian companies owned or ultimately controlled by non-Egyptian shareholders. 

2021 also witnessed the appointment of 18 Non-Egyptian arbitrators, with the number of arbitrators coming from Lebanon coming at the top, followed by arbitrators coming from France and Germany. There were also arbitrators from Cameroon, Italy, Morocco, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

In 2017, the CRCICA signed the Pledge for Equal Representation in Arbitration, according to which the CRCICA, having due regard to the circumstances of the relevant case, implemented a gender diversity policy when acting as an appointing authority in addition to its implementation of a regional and age diversity policy.

During 2021, 12 female arbitrators were appointed, representing 7% of appointments, compared to 8 female arbitrators, representing 5% of appointments, in 2020. Moreover, 15 arbitrators under 40 were appointed in 2021, representing 9% of appointments, compared to 12 arbitrators under 40 appointed in 2020, representing 7.5% of appointments that year.

These numbers and percentages, though both still modest, show a tendency to increase female appointments by the CRCICA as well as by parties and co-arbitrators.

Of the 165 arbitrators appointed in 2021, only 34 were appointed by the Centre, representing 20% of all appointments. In exercising its power as appointing authority, the Centre took the opportunity to appoint 7 non-Egyptian arbitrators, as well as 4 female arbitrators and 3 arbitrators under 40.

In 2021, 62 arbitration cases were conducted in Arabic, (i.e. 75%), whereas 21 cases, (i.e. 25%), were conducted in English. The French version of the CRCICA Rules was issued on 31 March 2017.

During 2021, cases where the sum in dispute does not exceed USD 1million constituted over half of the Centre’s caseload. These were followed by cases where the sum in dispute ranges between USD 1million and USD 2million and cases where the sum in dispute ranges between USD 10million and USD 30 million.

The average value of the sums in dispute in cases registered in 2021 amounted to USD 4,653,669, with the total sum in dispute during 2021 reaching USD 386,254,522.

HEARINGS IN 2021: 

Throughout this year, 131 hearings took place using CRCICA’s hearing facilities. 97 of the hearings related to cases brought under the CRCICA Arbitration Rules, 28 hearings related to ad hoc cases administered by CRCICA, 1 hearings related to ICC proceedings and 5 hearings related to mediation proceedings.

Of the 131 hearings that took place using CRCICA’s hearing facilities, 38 were held entirely remotely, 17 were held in a hybrid format (physical and remote attendance) and the remaining 38 hearings were held with physical attendance of a limited number of people, in compliance with the Centre’s social distancing guidelines.

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