LME arbitration is a private dispute resolution system, designed to settle disputes fairly, expertly and economically, without having to resort to action in the UK or other courts. 

Designed to lead to a final enforceable award, it is distinct from mediation or conciliation. The parties will have agreed that an independent decision on their dispute will be made by a tribunal formed of arbitrators chosen from the LME panel: this can be in the form of one, two or three arbitrators. Usually, each party appoints an arbitrator and a third is appointed if required. A recommended arbitration clause is set out below: this can be used by parties entering into a contract who wish disputes in relation to that contract to be settled in accordance with LME arbitration. Disputes in relation to LME market contracts must be settled in accordance with LME arbitration. 

The LME's arbitration service is generally recognised as the best available for the metals industry, which includes physical transactions as well as market trading. Indeed, so well regarded is the LME's arbitration facility that the service is used by enterprises who have no direct involvement in LME metals.

The arbitration procedural rules have been drawn up under the framework of English law but the arbitrators can deal with contracts governed by any other laws. Awards are enforceable by the High Court. They are also enforceable in virtually all overseas countries under the 1958 New York Convention for the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.

LME arbitration rules encompass the flexibility to adopt an expedited procedure. This can allow time and costs to be significantly reduced. Matters can also, if agreed by the parties, be considered by documents only, thereby negating the necessity for hearings, and awards can be published swiftly. Settling disputes by LME arbitration also ensures confidentiality with very limited exceptions, as all parties involved are obliged to maintain confidentiality in perpetuity.

The amount of the registration fee (referred to in the arbitration regulations) is £5,000 excluding VAT (subject to UK VAT at the standard rate where applicable). The amount of the deposit (referred to in the arbitration regulations) is £5,000 (no VAT payable). Payment can be made by bank transfer. The details for bank transfer can be obtained by emailing the Arbitration team.

All queries regarding LME arbitration are to be addressed to the Arbitration Secretary at The London Metal Exchange.

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LME arbitration consolidation guidance notes (PDF)

LME Arbitration Regulations (PDF)

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