Arbitration decisions are supported by the courts and carried out in private. They are both binding and enforceable.
Rather than complete action through the courts, parties that are finding themselves involved in a deadlocked dispute are now turning to Arbitration and Mediation, and with good reason. Arbitration and Mediation continue to be two highly effective forms of alternative dispute resolution. Proceeding with an alternative dispute resolution process will bring you to a binding conclusion which is away from the public nature of the courts and will alleviate a number of difficulties. Both parties will also be saving costs compared with litigation.
Arbitration vs Mediation
Mediation and Arbitration are similar in that they bring a conclusion to a dispute outside of court, but there are differences. Mediation allows an appointed mediator to assist the parties to negotiate their way to a mutually agreed settlement, whereas an arbitrator will actually make a final decision (called an award). A mediator does not possess the authority to impose a decision on either party.
In an arbitration, the evidence is presented to the arbitrator who will listen to the arguments, much like a judge. The decision made is enforceable in the same way as a judgment and is binding on both parties. Proceeding with an arbitration is preferable to mediation in any situation where there is an issue which requires a decision from a third party or the parties simply cannot come to an agreement.
Arbitration vs Court
Cases referred to court are likely to take a long time before a final judgment is reached, this can often take many months or even years. There are a number of reasons for this, a great deal of preparatory work often has to be carried out. The courts are very busy and it can be difficult to find a vacancy for any preliminary hearings before a judge, such as a “case management conference” – let alone for the full trial. On the other hand, a sympathetic arbitrator will cooperate with all parties, allowing a time and place which is convenient for the decision to be reached much sooner. Arbitration also has the advantage
that the parties can, if they agree, also choose their own arbitrator, for example one who has some experience of knowledge of the type of subject matter in dispute. [see below]
It is very important to weigh up the costs and values of the case as court proceedings can be very expensive and can often exceed the amount of money or value involved in the case. The cost of an arbitration should be very much less even though the arbitrator has to be paid. Of course, nowadays it can be expensive to even start court proceedings because of the fees payable to the court.
Other advantages of mediation are that the decision or ‘award’ will be final as well as binding. Only with limited exceptions can appeals be made against an arbitrator’s decision, whereas in a court case the losing party always has the right to ask for permission to appeal, and will be granted permission if an appeal stands a real prospect of success. This can cause a final decision to be delayed by many months.
All in all, parties are finding that they prefer the flexibility found in arbitration services as opposed to the rigidity, formality and drawn out nature of the court system.
If both sides have agreed to determine issues in dispute by appointing an arbitrator, the parties can often avoid the stress and acrimony of a long drawn out battle and can even continue a successful working relationship after the dispute has been resolved. Many find the resolution of issues in this way more satisfactory than that which a court may deliver.
The benefits of Arbitration
Understanding the benefits of arbitration is very helpful when deciding the correct route to take to break the deadlock in your dispute.
- All proceedings are kept private
- Resolution can be decided by a chosen tribunal
- Hearing times chosen for convenience of parties
- Fixed Fees & less expensive than court
- Swift determination of issues
- Convenient and less time consuming
- A sympathetic and less formal process
- Backlogs in court system are avoided
- Decisions are final as well as binding
When & How to take action
By taking action now, very quickly you will gain confidence in the process. You will feel the benefits of dealing with an experienced and skillful arbitrator and fin that the process is easy and fast.
All initial inquiries are free and can be conducted by telehone or email. Contact me here.
You should make contact straight away if…
- You want a legally binding decision made
- You are involved in a deadlocked dispute
- Communications have largely broken down
- You don’t want to take ‘legal action’
- You want the process to be kept private
- An issue is dragging on for months or years
- You have a legitimate grievance
- You want an issue resolved quickly
- You want to avoid escalating legal costs
After the initial contact you will always know exactly where you stand as all work is on a prearranged, fixed fee basis. At an early stage you need to get the other side to agree to arbitration in principle, and then to agree on choosing an arbitrator.
This is because, in order to be entirely neutral, both in appearance and in reality, all correspondence with the arbitrator will need to be copied to the other side.