Arbitration - what you need to know

Our Arbitrators can support your business's needs. Whether you are a small business starting out or a more mature enterprise, it is likely that a dispute will arise that needs to be addressed.

What is Arbitration?

Do you need a legal claim decided – but are worried about the time, complexity and spiraling costs involved in litigation?

Would it help if there was a way of getting the matter decided by an expert who knows your sector and who you trust to come up with the right decision, on a fixed price basis?

‘Arbitration’ involves appointing a trained and neutral third party (‘the Arbitrator’) to decide the dispute for the parties. The Arbitrator is chosen by the parties and is an expert in their business sector. He or she is appointed on a fixed-price basis (though either or both sides may incur other legal costs if they use lawyers to represent them in the Arbitration).

Arbitration does not take place through the Courts and so it is less formal. This can sometimes make Arbitration a bit quicker and cheaper than going to Court.

How can LawBite help?

Our Lawyers are experts in Arbitration. They can:

  • Draft Arbitration clauses to go in contracts
  • Help persuade the other party to accept Arbitration if the contract doesn’t include
  • Help you source an accredited third party Arbitrator
  • Help you prepare for the Arbitration
  • Attend with you throughout any meetings or hearings with the Arbitrator
  • Help you present or defend the claim
  • Help you negotiate a settlement of the claim with the other side on the best terms for you
  • Provide a neutral Arbitrator to handle the Arbitration (as an alternative to acting for you)

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We believe that great legal advice is a fundamental business right. We are committed to providing your business with expert legal advice that is:
 
  • Easier to access
  • Clearer to understand
  • More affordable
 
Many businesses find traditional law cumbersome, difficult to navigate and often full of hidden charges. Therefore, it is no surprise that SMEs instinctively turn to LawBite to solve their business legal problems, giving us a 98% service rating on feefo.
 
LawBite online lawyers and online solicitors provide expert legal advice on all commercial and business matters. Book a no commit 15-minute call with our friendly lawyers today or learn more by joining LawBite for free.
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When they have a legal problem, SMEs repeatedly tell us that they find traditional law hard to navigate, it can be a very cumbersome process to get a legal matter solved and quite often, it is full of hidden charges.

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Frequently asked questions

LawBite is the modern way for SMEs to get the high quality legal advice they need, but faster and cheaper.

As we look to revolutionise the traditional legal process, this may raise a number of questions on how we operate to provide your business with legal advice for your business that is; easier to access, clearer to understand and more affordable.

We have brought together the most frequently asked questions from our customers.

Arbitration works in much the same way as a traditional Court case with the big difference being that the parties control the process.
This includes who gets chosen to be the ”judge” and a more flexible approach to timings. The parties exchange their statements of case, undertake disclosure, exchange witness statements, call witnesses to the stand, cross-examine witnesses and present closing arguments in much the same way as a traditional Court.

An arbitrator does, like a traditional judge, weighs up the evidence and makes a decision based on the evidence.

Any dispute can potentially be suitable for arbitration. The ones most suitable for arbitration are disputes that must be resolved as quickly as possible.

There are several advantages to arbitration. Some of these advantages include control over the process, control over choosing a suitable arbitrator – perhaps with expert knowledge and the relative speed of the process.

Arbitration could be expensive and for a typical straight forward dispute you should budget for at least £10,000. This amount will increase if the dispute is complicated or if the process becomes protracted. 
The parties must agree who pays the arbitrator’s fees. Usually both parties agree to be jointly and severally liable for the arbitrator’s fees or they agree to split the costs of the arbitrator’s fees equally. The arbitrator has a wide discretion to award legal costs to be paid by one party to the other. In most cases, the arbitrator tries to follow the costs rules of the Court when awarding legal costs.

Arbitration, by definition, is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). “A way to resolve disputes outside the courts. The dispute will be decided by one or more persons (the “arbitrators”, “arbiters” or “arbitral tribunal”), which renders the “arbitration award”.” 

An arbitration award is legally binding on both sides and enforceable in the courts.

This depends on how quickly the parties want to move because the time table has to be set by the parties. The construction industry has introduced a 100-day arbitration scheme which is realistically the quickest you can expect arbitration to be concluded.

It is possible to conduct arbitration in person, but the reason most businesses choose to use a lawyer is because of the guidance they provide, not just on the procedure but also on the law and on tactics.

A party that does not agree with an award made by an arbitrator can challenge the award, usually within 28 days, by making an application to Court.

An award by an arbitrator is a final award and there are only limited circumstances where a party who does not agree with an award can refer the matter to Court to review the award.

This will depend on the nature of your business and the potential value of the contract. Arbitration can be more expensive than traditional litigation and if you are not careful you could find yourself in a situation where your contract states that you must refer the dispute to arbitration, but due to the relatively low value of your claim it does not make economic sense to do so. However, if you have a high value claim that must be resolved quickly, arbitration would be the best option and having an arbitration clause in your contract could prove invaluable.

Both parties must agree to arbitration. This agreement can be reached before a dispute arises, usually in the form of an arbitration clause in a contract, or after a dispute arises in the form of an agreement to arbitrate.

The parties must agree who pays the arbitrator’s fees. Usually both parties agree to be jointly and severally liable for the arbitrator’s fees or they agree to split the costs of the arbitrator’s fees equally. The arbitrator has a wide discretion to award legal costs to be paid by one party to the other. In most cases, the arbitrator tries to follow the costs rules of the Court when awarding legal costs.

How can LawBite help?

Our LawBriefs can provide expert guidance and reassurance, whether you are bringing or defending a legal claim, or resolving a dispute using Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods like Mediation and Arbitration.

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