Arbitration is a non-judicial process for the settlement of disputes where an independent third party–an arbitrator—makes a decision that is binding. The role of an Arbitrator is similar to that of a Judge, though the procedures are less formal. Arbitration it is often a preferred option to trial because it can provide a faster, more efficient claims process.

There are many advantages to arbitration:

  1. The process can be tailored to suit parties’ particular needs
  2. Arbitrators can be chosen for their expertise
  3. It is confidential—Unlike a trial, arbitration is essentially a private procedure, so that if the parties desire privacy then the dispute and the resolution can be kept confidential.
  4. It can be quicker and cheaper than court
  5. There are limited grounds of appeal as arbitral awards are binding and enforceable through the courts- The decision of an Arbitrator is final and binding because the parties have agreed that it should be, rather than any other rule or reason

How does it work?

Arbitration begins when two parties agree to settle their dispute through arbitration. The decision may also have been made for them by the addition of an arbitration clause to a contract that both parties have signed.

Typically, the dispute is submitted to an Arbitrator who resolves the dispute after hearing a presentation by both parties. The presentation may be just documents submitted to the arbitrator by each side. More often, in addition to the documents submitted, each side will make an oral argument in person. Usually each side will have a Barrister to make the oral argument for them. Occasionally, the presentation also includes witnesses who testify.
For a dispute to be referred to arbitration either: (i) both parties will be in agreement for the matter to be referred to arbitration with an agreed Arbitrator; or (ii) there will be an arbitration clause in a contract between the parties that names an organisation as the appointing body in any dispute under the contract 

Can a Court Overturn an Arbitration?

Arbitration awards can be challenged in court, but these awards will only be overturned by the court in rare and limited cases. Courts will vacate, or refuse to confirm an arbitration award if the award is the product of fraud, corruption, or serious misconduct by the arbitrator.

About me

I am a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) based in London. I offer full advisory services on Arbitration generally, advice on the merits of an Arbitration and then advocacy services at any Arbitration, both domestically and internationally. Equally, I can act as an Arbitrator in any domestic or international dispute. 

Given my broad experience in private practice of civil, commercial and family law, I can offer arbitration services in most areas that are required.