The new rules of the Thai Arbitration Institute (“TAI”) which take effect on 1 October 2021, provide parties with the option to resolve disputes via an expedited procedure with lower fee thresholds.
This will replace the previous small claims arbitration rules and empower the TAI to order a case to be settled via the expedited procedure at a party’s request if the other party agrees, or the total amount in dispute does not exceed THB 5,000,000. And unless the arbitral tribunal decides otherwise, the expedited proceedings must be conducted by documents only, without an oral hearing. Under this regime, unless the TAI grants an extension of time, the arbitral tribunal must (i) settle substantive and procedural issues within 60 days after the date on which the tribunal is constituted, and (ii) render an award within 15 days after the completion of submission of evidence or after the substantive oral hearing.
Additionally, the rules expressly state that an agreement to apply the TAI Arbitration Rules will be deemed to constitute the parties’ agreement to the application of the new rules of expedited procedure, regardless of any discrepancy between the arbitration agreement and the rules of expedited procedure.