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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance
Global Arbitration Trends 2023<br />

Global Arbitration Trends 2023

Across the construction, energy, financial
investor, mining and commodities and tech sectors

Clifford Chance experts share their views on key trends for global disputes and international arbitration in 2023 and beyond

Our conclusions on dispute risks across the tech, mining and commodities, energy, financial investor and construction sectors reflect challenges including the global economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, market volatility and increased protectionism.

Audley Sheppard KC, co-head of our global arbitration practice, says...

Our key trends for international arbitration in a range of sectors recognise the global challenges facing business as well as risks that are specific to each industry as they undergo rapid change. For example, the growth and regulation of potentially transformative technologies and an ongoing focus on ESG issues will be felt across sectors and will result in both commercial and investor-State arbitrations.

Jason Fry KC, co-head of our global arbitration practice, says...

In the face of significant global challenges and industry transformation, international arbitration remains the preferred choice of dispute resolution for many organisations.  With enforceability remaining a priority for business, in 2023 we expect to see more and more parties using arbitration provisions for their cross-border deals and in their standard form agreements.

Explore our trends below.


1. Tech

As investment in the tech sector continues to boom, and potentially transformative technologies gain momentum, disputes will arise both between commercial parties and between investors and States seeking to navigate new ground such as crypto assets and the metaverse.

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2. Mining and Commodities

Disruptions caused by the Russia-Ukraine war, the ensuing economic sanctions on Russia and retaliation measures will continue to severely affect the global mining and commodities markets in 2023. These issues are likely to trigger new disputes, including those related to investor protection or to the terms of companies' withdrawals of their businesses from Russia. More generally, disputes are likely to arise from continuing pressure on mining companies – including supply and demand disruptions worldwide, price volatility, and increasing environmental and emissions regulations.

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3. Energy

The fallout from Russia's invasion of Ukraine, as well as energy transition issues such as decommissioning and regulatory change, all present significant challenges for energy sector participants. As governments and commercial parties alike seek to adapt to these developments, we expect to see continued rise in certain types of disputes.

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4. Financial Investors

We expect to see an uptick in private equity M&A activity in a number of regions in 2023. This is due to the likely loosening of credit markets as global inflation begins to ease, and the pent-up demand for PE investment and also, in APAC in particular, due to China's easing of COVID-19 restrictions which will drive activity within the region. Against this backdrop, we also expect that ongoing macroeconomic and geopolitical challenges across the globe will lead to an increase in disputes involving financial investors, particularly in the energy, TMT and healthcare sectors.

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5. Construction

As the construction sector emerges from COVID-19, we have seen output rebounding to pre-pandemic levels. Now the sector faces a new set of challenges – shortages in critical commodities and inflationary pressures. While every construction dispute is unique and dependent on local conditions, outlined below are some of the global trends.

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