Members endorse changes to Charter and Bye-Laws including C.Adj designation

Group of people standing and sitting at desk

Members attending the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators’ (CIArb) Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) on 29 September 2022 voted overwhelmingly in support of plans to amend its Royal Charter and Bye-Laws. The changes bring CIArb’s governance in line with best practice, help it to continue to meet and support its members’ needs and introduce a new Chartered Adjudicator designation for its most experienced adjudicator members.

Subject to approval by the Privy Council, CIArb stands to become the first and only professional body with the power to award Chartered Adjudicator (C.Adj) status.

Catherine Dixon, Director General said, “I’m delighted CIArb’s membership voted overwhelmingly in favour of proposed changes to CIArb’s Royal Charter and Bye-Laws which will ensure it operates in line with best practice whilst maintaining its heritage. These changes will enable CIArb to support all of its members, and include the ability to award Chartered Adjudicator status to CIArb’s most experienced adjudicators. We anticipate that C.Adj will command an equal level of respect and recognition internationally as our well-established C.Arb designation.”

Catherine went on to say, “We are intensely proud of the Royal Charter which underpins CIArb’s purpose as a professional body for dispute resolution. Preserving our 107 years of heritage is a priority. These changes mean CIArb can continue to be a thriving, vibrant and successful Institute, effectively serving its global membership for the next 100 years and beyond.”

The changes to CIArb’s Royal Charter and Bye-Laws will ensure CIArb keeps up to date with charity law and best practice and operates effectively and efficiently in its members’ best interests and are now subject to final approval by the Privy Council and the King.

At the AGM, members were invited to consider the Annual Accounts, the Trustees’ Annual Report and the Report of the Auditors for year ended 31 December 2021.

2021 was the first year of CIArb’s three-year strategy and, as evidenced by the Annual Report, was a transformational year.

As well as meeting its strategic objectives, CIArb took significant steps forward in delivering its commitment to putting members at the heart of everything it does.

2021 highlights include:

  • Undertaking a significant piece of member research, the findings of which continue to inform CIArb’s development of services, procedures and information to support its members through their careers.
  • The start of essential digital infrastructure projects with the aim of delivering improved member experience. Including the upgrade of CIArb’s Customer Relationship Management system, Content Management System and website.
  • Progress of the education and training reform programme, including development of a new competence framework. This framework will underpin each grade of membership and support CIArb in delivering world-class training to a consistent high global standard.
  • By the end of December 2021, almost 5,000 people had completed CIArb training globally. Highlights include:
    • Successful delivery of the Diploma in International Maritime Arbitration to 16 delegates from 9 different jurisdictions. This followed a pilot run in 2020.
    • Over 200 registered participants for the Virtual Module 1 International Arbitration course - the highest attended course in 2021.
    • Over 50 people trained to be CIArb-accredited mediators.
    • Around 2,000 people trained and assessed through Branches. An increase from less than a thousand in the previous year.
  • CIArb’s membership grew by just under 3% to 16,881 professional members. In total, 1,758 new professional members were admitted.
  • All CIArb events in 2021 were delivered virtually, attracting over 6,000 participants and a further 5,000 views of recorded events. Highlights from the events schedule include:
    • The keynote speech from Amanda J. Lee FCIArb at the International Women’s Day 2021 and which led to her nomination for a GAR award.
    • The Roebuck Lecture delivered by Honourable Lady Justice Joyce Aluoch EBS CBS MCIArb on the impact of the Singapore Mediation Convention on mediation and arbitration.
    • A truly global Mediation Symposium, with participants from 48 countries.
    • The first online DAS (Dispute Appointment Service) Congress, enabling global participation in the discussion about securing appointments.
    • The Alexander Lecture which was delivered live from COP26 by Wendy Miles KC FCIArb on the topic of international arbitration and sustainable investment.
    • A series of webinars focused on raising awareness and understanding of adjudication globally.
  • Consultation on and development of revised branding, to better reflect what CIArb does and why, and which resonates with its members.
  • Increase in CIArb’s social media following by 43% to over 80,000 followers.
  • Delivery of its mentoring programme which connected aspiring ADR professionals with more experienced members.
  • Continuation of CIArb’s role as an Observer in UNCITRAL Working Groups II and III, and as secretariat to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Alternative Dispute Resolution in the UK.
  • Establishment of specialist advisory groups in technology and sustainability.
  • Creation of a Member Insights Panel - a group of a thousand members from around the world who participate in short pieces of research to inform our work.
  • In recognition of the impact of technology on members’ lives, CIArb delivered the Mediation Tech Tracker – a series of webinars and blog posts focused on technology in mediation practice.
  • Publication of CIArb’s Practice Guideline on the Use of Technology in International Arbitration to provide practical guidance on the use and implications of technology in proceedings.
  • Formation of CIArb’s 42nd Branch in Pakistan, which was formally launched in 2022.

Catherine Dixon, Director General said:

I am immensely proud of what CIArb achieved in 2021. Despite challenging and demanding global circumstances, our organisation continued to progress, grow and thrive. My sincere thanks to all involved in making CIArb the success it is including our Board, our 42 Branches, our members, our Faculty, all our volunteers, our partners and our staff.