Multi-party arbitration is any arbitration involving three or more parties. Nowadays, the structure of business transactions may be quite complex and may involve several parties from several jurisdictions. In order to save costs, these parties may therefore decide to settle all their issues in the same legal proceedings.

For this reason, arbitral institutions often have special provisions in their rules to govern multi-party arbitrations. These provisions generally deal with joinder and consolidation of proceedings as well as the constitution of the tribunal.

Multi-contract arbitration relates to any arbitration revolving around disputes arising out of or in connection with more than one contract. Whether a two-party or a multi-party arbitration, where the arbitration agreements of different contracts are compatible, all the disputes of the parties may principally be solved in one arbitration.

Multi-contract arbitration may for instance contribute to saving on costs in disputes revolving around commercial agency or distribution, where the parties conclude a framework agreement and several individual agreements later on. It may also be relevant for saving on costs in construction related disputes, where an employer, contractors and subcontractors may all be bound by compatible arbitration agreements.