The Cayman Islands’ New Arbitration Law

Arbitration has in the past decade or so become increasingly popular around the world as a method of resolving commercial disputes and obtaining a binding and internationally enforceable decision. However, until very recently, the legislation governing arbitration in the Cayman Islands has been viewed as outdated and out of step with accepted international standards, meaning that parties historically have been reluctant to select the Cayman Islands as their chosen seat of arbitration.

The new Arbitration Law 2012, which came into force on 2 July 2012, should change that perception and ushers in a new era with a modern and flexible legislative framework for arbitration that should see the Cayman Islands becoming more attractive as a venue for arbitration. The new law is based on the UNCITRAL Model Law and draws on the arbitration laws of other common law jurisdictions including the United Kingdom. Three principles underpin it: First, that disputes should be resolved by an impartial arbitral tribunal without undue delay or expense. Secondly, that there should be increased party autonomy in that the parties themselves should be free to agree how their disputes are resolved, subject only to such safeguards as are necessary in the public interest. Thirdly, in a deliberate move away from the previous legislation, that the level of judicial supervision should be limited. The powers conferred on an arbitral tribunal appointed under the new law are extremely wide, with the tribunal effectively able to award any remedy or relief that could have been ordered by a Court if the dispute in question had been subject to civil proceedings in Court.


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Colette WilkinsPartnerT +1 345 914
Andrew GibsonSenior CounselT +1 345 814

Timothy HaynesPartnerT +852 2596

Fraser HernGroup Partner*T +44 (0) 1534 700