The LMAA is an association of individuals who regularly act as arbitrators in maritime disputes, either as sole arbitrators or with other LMAA members, predominantly in London, and also overseas. The LMAA is not an arbitral institution. Rather, as regards its arbitrating members, it is simply an association of practising maritime arbitrators. Of its current full members, approximately half have a predominantly legal training or background and otherwise technical or commercial expertise. The Association is keen to maintain, as far as possible, a broad mixture of disciplines and backgrounds amongst its full members.
It is clear to the Committee that the shipping industry expects full members of the LMAA to have considerable experience of and expertise in acting as maritime arbitrators. It has therefore adopted the following guidelines for considering applications for full membership. They are not intended to be “carved in stone” and there may well be applicants who can justifiably be properly considered without necessarily having fulfilled all the following guidelines.
(i) have been engaged for at least 15 years in a responsible position or positions in one or more areas of the shipping industry, either commercial, technical or legal;
(ii) have a basic knowledge of English law relating to contract and tort;
(iii) have a good knowledge of English law relating to shipping, arbitration practice and procedure;
(iv) demonstrate a substantial and recent degree of involvement on a regular basis, preferably as an Aspiring Full Member, working with other LMAA members as a member of London maritime arbitration tribunals;
(v) demonstrate an intention and ability to develop and maintain their practice as a full time arbitrator and participate in the activities and promotion of the Association over a significant period of time in case of their election as a Full Member;
(vi) demonstrate an ability to draft reasoned awards in maritime disputes subject to English law. It is required that the applicant should submit at least two reasoned awards which the applicant has drafted, one of which should relate to an oral or virtual hearing before the applicant;
(vii) be familiar with and have experience of interlocutory applications, directions, oral or virtual hearings and award writing;
(viii) be prepared to participate in the activities and promotion of the Association; and
(ix) fulfil the other criteria set out in the Application Form.
Practising solicitors, practising barristers and claims consultants and those unable to demonstrate independence from competing or conflicting commercial activities will generally not be eligible for full membership.
It should be noted that for those applicants who do not have an English legal qualification it is usually a requirement that the applicant should be a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
Subject to an applicant broadly complying with the above guidelines, he or she will be interviewed by the election sub-committee and should be prepared to answer questions on the extent to which the guidelines are satisfactorily met. It may be, however, that where an applicant is not able to fulfil all the above guidelines it could be helpful to the applicant to be interviewed by the election sub-committee for the purpose of discussing how any gaps can best be filled before reapplying. The Committee is naturally willing to give every assistance in this regard.
In addition, the Committee will consult members of the Association before making a decision on any application.