Arbitration is an alternative to court proceedings which aims to find a final binding award usually in favour of one of the parties. Arbitration is based on the parties agreement: all parties must agree to submit the dispute in question to arbitration.
An arbitrator conducts the arbitration and will be an individual with professional expertise in assisting in the resolution of disputes. An arbitrator can be appointed by agreement between the parties or by an independent nominating body. The arbitrator will make a decision at the end of the arbitration like a judgement, which is final and enforceable.
The arbitrator will conduct the arbitration in a fair and impartial manner, obtaining position statements and evidence from the parties and will hold hearings to review the parties positions. Arbitration is conducted according to the agreed rules of the Arbitration Act 1996, and the outcome of the arbitration can be appealed on a point of law to the courts.
The main benefit of arbitration is the flexibility it provides the parties, as it is not governed by rules of procedures so it can be much less formal than court proceedings. If the parties desire, the arbitrator can recommend solutions to the parties instead of making a final decision. Arbitration is also more flexible for the parties than court procedures in that they usually choose where the arbitration is to take place and the parties can also choose their own rules to govern the procedure of the arbitration.
Our solicitors have significant experience in all aspects of construction, particularly in disputes. We regularly act for clients in adjudication, arbitration, court litigation and mediations, and are often prepared to act on a no win, no fee basis.