New research shows that the number of commercial and civil disputes resolved in the UK through arbitration, mediation and adjudication fell sharply as the impact of the 2008 crash abated.

The total fell from 27,110 in 2009 to 21,260 in 2011, according to figures contained in a report from City of London lobby group TheCityUK, ‘Dispute Resolution in London and the UK’.

Domestic disputes fell from 21,800 to 16,900, which the TheCityUK attributes mainly to a decline in the appointment of dispute resolvers at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. International disputes declined from 5,300 to 4,300.

Referrals for arbitration fell in 2011, while disputes handled through mediation continued to rise. The Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution’s biennial survey showed an increase from 6,500 to 8,000 in disputes resolved through mediation.

London is the preferred seat of arbitration and companies are twice as likely to choose English law (40%) as any other (New York state law, 17%). The common costs of arbitrations in the rest of Europe are 18% higher than in the UK, according to the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

The report stresses that last year’s opening of the Rolls Building (pictured) – the biggest dedicated business, property and commercial court in the world – will help to sustain the UK’s reputation as the first choice for business law.