London’s pre-eminence as a forum for international disputes resolution both in courts and in arbitration is well established. A combination of history, strong rule of law and the city’s status as an international financial center—particularly for banking, insurance, shipping and commodities trade—has contributed to London’s international reputation as an arbitration hub.
Recent commentary has speculated that Brexit may prove a major threat to London’s position as one of the most preferred and widely used seats for international arbitration.
Although it is too early to tell for sure, London’s popularity as a leading arbitral seat has not yet been significantly impacted by Brexit. Back in 2018, most respondents (55%) to a Queen Mary survey about the impact of Brexit did not believe it would have a negative impact on London as a seat. As argued in a 2021 Queen Mary and White & Case study: “London’s continued presence at the top of the table suggests that, as was predicted by the majority of the respondents in our 2018 survey, its popularity as a seat has not been significantly impacted (at least so far) by the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. London retains its reputation amongst users as a reliable seat of choice.”