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P.R.I.M.E Finance begins public consultation on draft revised Arbitration Rules

February 08, 2021

The Panel of Recognised International Markets Experts in Finance (P.R.I.M.E. Finance) has announced a public consultation on its draft revised Arbitration Rules (the Rules).

P.R.I.M.E. Finance provides a specialist dispute resolution service aimed at resolving disputes concerning derivatives and other complex financial products. The Rules which were first launched in 2012, are intended as a specialised mechanism tailored to financial disputes.

The Rules were last updated in 2016 when the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) took on the role of administering any arbitration brought under the Rules.

The proposed changes to the Rules aim to capture the current best practice in arbitration whilst continuing to be tailored towards complex banking and financial disputes as well as expanding to cover emerging areas such as fintech and sustainable finance disputes.

The Rules noticeably include a heavy emphasis on increasing the transparency of the arbitration process including through a requirement to disclose third party funding arrangements and encouraging the publication of awards in anonymised form. The Rules also make provision for industry bodies such as ISDA to make submissions on issues which are of important interest to the financial markets generally.

Other significant features aimed at increasing the efficiency of the Rules include expedited rules for disputes of less than EUR 4 million and a requirement for tribunals with three or more members to render their final award within 90 days of the closing of the hearing.

The Rules also include a more central role for the PCA, provisions to address complex and multi-party arbitrations and emergency application rules. In particular, they include a provision allowing separate arbitrations which are not eligible for consolidation to be co-ordinated in certain circumstances.

P.R.I.M.E. Finance are now inviting written public comment on the Rules in an attempt to ensure that the Rules meet the expectations of those who will use them.

Three virtual public consultations (with differing regional focuses) will also be held at which attendees can find out more about the key elements of the Rules and put questions to the P.R.I.M.E. panel. The virtual sessions will cover user perspectives on the arbitration of financial services disputes, multi-party and multi-contract arbitration, expedited and emergency arbitration and the role of the PCA.

Information about the consultation and how to provide comments on the Rules as well as instructions on how to download the draft can be found here.

The public consultation will remain open until 22 March 2021.

Once the consultation is closed P.R.I.M.E’s Drafting Group (consisting of experts in banking and arbitration) will continue their work on the Rules and present a final version to the P.R.I.M.E. Finance Management Board for adoption. The new Rules are expected to launch publicly later in 2021.

With thanks to Sophy Lelliot for her assistance with this post.