Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution, in which a specially appointed neutral third party is chosen to adjudicate the case. The process itself is much like the court procedure, except that the process is entirely private controlled, without any recourse to the public courts.

The sides come together to appoint an arbitrator, usually a retired judge, or a senior lawyer who has practiced in the particular area of dispute for a considerable period of time and is viewed generally as possessing expertise in the area, and the remit of the dispute. This includes agreeing on a timetable and what evidence is admissible before the arbitrator. Usually, this will closely resemble that which would be admissible in the normal court process. The parties also agree to a timetable for the arbitration of their dispute and a location for the final hearing. Typically, this will be much quicker than waiting for the court.

The parties then draw up and enter into an arbitration agreement. This is a fully-binding contractual obligation.

At the arbitration both sides put their cases forward, calling a witness and marshaling evidence as set out in the agreement and required by the case. After both sides have had their say, the arbitrator makes his or her decision and sets out the arbitration award. This decision can only be overturned by the courts if it is seen to perverse or unreasonable.

If you are interested in discussing the variety of Alternative Dispute mechanisms and what is most suitable for your case please contact Ella L. J. Bernhard