Arbitration is a form of ADR. It is a formal process similar to court proceedings and requires the parties to a dispute to have an arbitration clause in any agreement (or to enter into an agreement when a dispute arises) to refer any disputes to arbitration.
We have extensive experience in dealing with Arbitration and we have acted in many cases where costs have been saved by using Arbitration.
The parties appoint an arbitrator who will be an expert in the area the subject-matter of the dispute who is empowered to decide the dispute by making an “award”, which is legally binding. The process is subject to the rules contained in the Arbitration Act 1996 and any award can be enforced in the courts. The arbitrator can also make an award about who pays the costs of the arbitration. The process usually takes less time to reach a conclusion as the parties have more control and they are not caught up in the delays and bureaucracy of the courts system.
If you are entering into an agreement you will not be able to use arbitration when any dispute arises unless the other party agrees the matter being referred to arbitration. You should, therefore, make sure that any contracts you sign contain binding clauses which provide for any disputes to be referred to arbitration. We can assist you in reviewing any draft contract before you sign.
If there is a binding arbitration clause in your agreement you can stop your opponent from commencing proceedings in court or ask the court to stay any such proceedings.
Taking a case to the High Court or County Court involves a lot of legal costs and wasted time on each side. At the end of the case, the court usually decides who wins, which can leave the loser feeling aggrieved or bruised. On top of that the total costs which the parties might spend invariably exceeds the amount which is in dispute.
Even though the costs of arbitration may be as much as the costs of going to court, the process tends to produce an earlier resolution.
If your opponent fails to comply with an arbitrator’s award you can apply to the High Court to enforce the award against them.
Contact our arbitration lawyers in Ruislip, Middlesex today