Disputes are time-consuming and stressful, and court action isn’t guaranteed to go your way. Arbitration could save money and give both parties the solution they need
Resolving disputes through arbitration
Arbitration during COVID-19
During the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, we are pleased to be able to continue to offer arbitration services via video conference or over the phone.
Call us on 029 2000 2339 or email email@example.com to find out more about this service
What is arbitration?
Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution. It is conducted by the consent of all parties involved in a dispute and is a private mechanism.
The decision of the arbitration ‘tribunal’ is binding on the parties and is not usually subject to appeal.
The whole process can be conducted confidentially, unlike a court case. The outcome will be supported by the courts and the whole process is subject to the 1996 Arbitration Act.
How does it work?
Either a single arbitrator or a panel of three arbitrators will form the arbitral ‘tribunal’. Parties will present written submissions to this tribunal in accordance with directions that are issued by the tribunal. If the tribunal decides it is in the interests of fairness, they may decide to hear evidence orally from witnesses and the parties themselves and from their respective legal counsel.
The tribunal will then consider their decision, and this will be issued to the parties usually after only a few weeks. The decision is in the form of a written award and is final and binding on the parties.
What are the costs involved?
The cost of an arbitration will depend on the complexity of the dispute or claim. Parties are able to agree between themselves as to what proportion of the overall cost each of them will pay. The overall fee is usually paid prior to the tribunal sitting. As a guide, a simple case in front of a single arbitrator that takes no more than a day will cost roughly £1,500 but this is subject to the amount of material submitted that needs to be read and may increase if oral evidence is required.
We would be happy to provide an estimate based on a description of the claim and the issues involved.
What is an arbitration agreement?
The Arbitration Agreement is a binding contract entered into by both parties that wish to have their dispute settled. It will set out how the fees are to be apportioned, or whether the arbitrator will be asked to make an award as to costs.
It also has a brief description of the issues and the names of the parties. It may include other details such as the number of arbitrators on the tribunal and whether the proceedings are to be confidential.
We provide a template agreement to assist parties to set up an arbitration to resolve their dispute.
How is the timetable and location determined?
Many decisions will not require the hearing of oral evidence and so there will be no requirement for the parties to come together in a physical location as would be usual for a court hearing.
For hearing oral evidence, this can be easily accommodated by using a video link. This will save a lot of time and expense when compared to hiring a venue and the costs of travel and catering. It will also be easier for parties to agree a suitable date and time.
The timetable for the submission of evidence and claims and the submission of responses is usually set by the arbitrator, or the chair of the tribunal if multiple arbitrators are requested. This may be in the form of a short telephone ‘directions session’ but this can also be accomplished by the issuance of written directions.
How is the decision given out?
The outcome of the tribunal will be given in the form of a written decision and sent to both parties. This is usually within two weeks of the tribunal sitting. The written decision will give details of how the decision was arrived at. A verbal decision may be provided upon request if the matter is urgent. The decision will remain private unless all the parties request and agree to it being published.
Can the decision be appealed?
It is unlikely that either party will be able to appeal a decision of an arbitration. The limited grounds for appeal are on a point of process or procedure that did not follow the prescribed rules, if a decision was made that was not in the scope of the tribunal to decide i.e. not before it, or if there was provision made in the Arbitration Agreement.
A court will normally uphold the decision of an arbitration and can be asked to enforce it.
Do you need a dispute settled? Tell us how we can help you.
Call us to start the conversation on 029 2000 2339 or email firstname.lastname@example.org