The amendments, although welcome, seem unlikely to substantially change how LMAA arbitrations work in practice. Arbitration practitioners may have benefitted from additional amendments, such as for example a provision for a telephone case management conference between the parties and the tribunal to fix the procedural steps of the arbitration after service of submissions, especially in circumstances where the proceedings proceed “on documents alone”, hence an exchange of LMAA Questionnaires may not take place. Such telephone conference would be a low cost opportunity to fix procedure quickly, avoiding lengthy correspondence and delay.
Having said that, to conclude, the revised Terms reflect and expressly set out good practice. They incorporate much of the LMAA’s previous guidance, provide additional guidance on cost control and aim to promote efficiency in arbitration proceedings balancing costs, time and a fair procedure.