International Commercial Arbitration And Mediation: What Does The Data Show?

While key elements of confidentiality are important to commercial arbitration and mediation, many aspects of the process are needlessly shielded from transparency, and as a result preclude awareness, understanding and confidence.

Increasingly one sees that greater insight into arbitration and mediation processes is possible without divulging any “confidential” information. Individual institutions including, but not limited to the Hong Kong International Arbitration Center, Singapore International Arbitration Center, and others are sharing helpful information about fees, expenses, and the duration of completed cases.

Now Dispute Resolution Data (DRD) is receiving data from 17 international entities and then aggregating the data by case type (28 different) and seven geographic regions. In this process, each closed international commercial arbitration provides information for up to 100 data fields and each closed international mediation up to 45 data fields. Presently, over 1,000 cases have provided information reposing, in excess of, 40,000 data fields.

Those interested in examining these methodologies with additional data insights include practitioners, insurers and re-insurers, corporate counsel, scholars, administering institutional staff and students.

Data collection

Data from administering institutions may employ different terms, however the process worldwide is quite uniform in its execution. This fact adds significantly to the data collection and reporting processes. [ For example, the basic process includes filing a claim, a reply, briefs, oral hearing, award, with settlement possible, and likely (now confirmed) at least 50% of the time, prior to the rendering of an award.]

The data collected from participating institutions shortly after a case closes enables the data to reflect quite current realities. As well, data over a span of years reveals trends or patterns for results which can inform strategies, clause drafting, discussions with clients, and even budgets with costs and award information, again by individual case type.

Data reporting

In availing commercial arbitration and mediation data, many analytic examples can be cited, including the frequency of the use of discovery tools, including e-discovery, and the success rate of counterclaims by case type. For illustrative purposes, here we display three widely different instances of data reporting. They are the mediation success rate by case type and geographic region:

The growth in claim amounts for all cases during the period 2009-2017:

And a graph showing profoundly the universality of arbitration detailing parties from 136 nations engaged in arbitrations administered in 17 arbitral institutions:

The use of data in international commercial arbitrations and mediations, measured transparency, and the opportunity for new scholarly research has arrived!

Written by Bill Slate and Debi Slate.


Bill Slate is the Co-Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Dispute Resolution Data (DRD). Prior to co-founding DRD, he was the President and CEO of the American Arbitration Association/ICDR for two decades.


Debi Slate is the Co-Founder, President and Chief Operating Officer for DRD.  She heads up all operations related to the advancement of DRD as a global resource to aid in the transparency of international arbitration data.

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