Joinder and Consolidation in Institutional Arbitration over the Last 10 years: Evolution or Revolution?

- Kirtan Prasad

Joinder and consolidation have acquired greater practical significance in recent times given the increased complexity of commercial transactions, which now involve multiple suites of documents and multiple parties. Arbitral rules relating to joinder and consolidation have consequentially evolved to keep pace with user feedback in this regard. There has been a palpable shift in the last ten years from a conservative approach to a more permissive and innovative one.  This article attempts to trace that evolution with reference to certain Indian and international arbitral rules. It concludes with a few comments on how parties may wish to deal with this evolving trend in their contracts, and cautions that any forthcoming changes and innovations will be need to be rigorously assessed against the touchstone of party consent.