Seat of Arbitration - Additional Facility Arbitration (2022 Rules)

The parties should agree on the seat of arbitration (Additional Facility Arbitration Rule 41).

Absent an agreement, the Tribunal will determine the seat having regard to the circumstances of the proceeding and after consulting with the parties. The Tribunal may consider different criteria such as:

  • suitability of the arbitration law at the proposed seat of arbitration
  • location of evidence and/or subject-matter of the dispute
  • convenience of the seat for the parties, counsel and arbitrators.

This is generally done before or at the first session. 

The seat of arbitration is important as the mandatory laws of the seat will govern the procedure in addition to the Additional Facility Arbitration Rules. These laws are also relevant to post-Award proceedings to set aside the Award, and to enforcement proceedings. The Award is deemed to be made at the seat of arbitration (Additional Facility Arbitration Rule 71(3)).

Some treaties and agreements contain additional requirements for choosing the seat of arbitration.  For example, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), establishes that absent an agreement of the parties, the Tribunal shall determine the legal place of arbitration which must be in the territory of a State that is a party to the 1958 United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (New York Convention) (USMCA Article 14.D.7).