The total number of cases filed before CRCICA until 31 December 2022 reached 1618 cases. In 2022, 83 new cases were filed, equal to the number of cases in 2021, the second highest number of annual registrations since 2016. Of the 83 cases filed this year, 12 related to ad hoc proceedings. Further, 5 mediations were referred to the Centre in 2022 compared to 6 in 2021. The Centre also registered 3 dispute board cases in 2022, equal to the number of dispute board cases in 2021, following the issuance of the Dispute Board Rules on 1 August 2021.
The Centre’s caseload during 2022 involved disputes relating to a variety of sectors, including: Construction, Tourism & Hospitality, Banking & Finance, Real Estate Development, Oil & Gas, Corporate Restructuring, Media & Entertainment, Sports, Agriculture, Medical & Hospital and Civil Aviation.
Disputes arising from the Construction Sector ranked in first place with 17% of cases, the same as in 2021, followed by Tourism & Hospitality disputes representing 14.5% of the total number of cases, compared to 5% of cases in 2021, respectively. Banking & Finance and Real Estate Development disputes rose to third place, making up nearly 8.5% of the total number of cases each. These were closely followed by Oil & Gas disputes in third place, representing 7% of the total number of cases. Disputes arising from the Corporate Restructuring (6%), Media & Entertainment (6%), Sports (5%), Medical & Hospital (5%) and Retail (5%) sectors bring up the rest of the top spots.
The parties to disputes included 29 Non-Egyptian parties. Parties from Saudi Arabia ranked at the top of Non-Egyptian parties referring their disputes to the Centre, with 6 parties, followed by parties from the United Arab Emirates, with 4 parties. In third place, African NGOs as well as the British Virgin Islands, Malta and Saint Christopher & Nevis each had two parties referring disputes to the Centre.
There were also parties from Austria, Bangladesh, Egypt, France, India, Italy, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Madagascar, Morocco, Panama, Syria and the United Kingdom.
It is worth noting that these conservative figures do not include Egyptian companies owned or ultimately controlled by non-Egyptian shareholders.
The year 2022 witnessed the appointment of 163 arbitrators, including 14 Non-Egyptian arbitrators, with the number of arbitrators with French and British nationalities coming at the top, followed by arbitrators coming from Lebanon and Tunisia. There were also appointments of arbitrators from Belgium, Italy and South Africa.
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 where appropriate.
During 2022, 4 female arbitrators were appointed, representing 2.5% of appointments, compared to 12 female arbitrators, representing 7% of appointments, in 2021. Moreover, 15 arbitrators under 40 were appointed in 2022, representing 9% of appointments, compared to 15 arbitrators under 40 appointed in 2021, representing 9% 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 163 arbitrators appointed in 2022, only 23 were appointed by the Centre, representing 14% of all appointments. In exercising its power as appointing authority, the Centre took the opportunity to appoint 4 non-Egyptian arbitrators, as well as 2 female arbitrators and 1 arbitrator under 40.
In 2022, 62 arbitration cases were conducted in Arabic, (i.e. 74.5%), whereas 20 cases, (i.e. 24.5%) were conducted in English. CRCICA also registered its first case conducted in French (i.e. 1%) in 2022. The French version of the CRCICA Rules was issued on 31 March 2017.
During 2022, 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 1 million and USD 2 million and cases where the sum in dispute ranges between USD 2 million and USD 3 million.
The average value of the sums in dispute in cases registered in 2022 amounted to USD 3,136,929, compared to USD 4,653,669 in 2021, with the total sum in dispute during 2022 reaching USD 260,365,116 compared to USD 386,254,522 during 2021. It is worth mentioning that the decrease in the average value of the sums in dispute as well as the total sum in dispute is mainly attributable to the series of EGP devaluations throughout 2022.
HEARINGS IN 2022
Throughout this year, 129 hearings took place using CRCICA’s hearing facilities. 89 of the hearings related to cases brought under the CRCICA Arbitration Rules, 30 hearings related to ad hoc cases administered by CRCICA, 8 hearings related to non-CRCICA proceedings, including ICC, and 2 hearings related to mediation proceedings.
Of the 129 hearings that took place using CRCICA’s hearing facilities, 15 were held remotely, representing 12% of hearings, 3 hearings were held in a hybrid format, representing 2% of hearings, and 111 hearings were held physically, in compliance with the Centre’s social distancing guidelines, representing 86% of the hearings.