Arbitration for Businesses

Our Arbitrators can support your business's needs

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 or help you persuade the other party to accept Arbitration if the contract doesn’t provide for it
  • 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, and 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, if the opportunity arises
  • Provide a neutral Arbitrator to handle the Arbitration (as an alternative to acting for you)

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FAQs about Arbitration

What is the legal definition of arbitration?

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.

How does arbitration work?

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.

What does an arbitrator do?

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

What types of disputes are resolved through arbitration?

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

What are the advantages of arbitration?

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

How much does arbitration cost?

Arbitration could be expensive and for a typical straight forward dispute you should budget for at lease £10,000. This amount will increase if the dispute is complicated or if the process becomes protracted.

Who pays for arbitration?

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 long does an arbitration decision take?

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.

Do I need a lawyer for arbitration?

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.

Can you appeal arbitration?

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.

Can you go to court after arbitration?

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.

Should I agree to an arbitration agreement?

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.

Can you be forced into arbitration?

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.

FAQs about Adjudication

What types of disputes are resolved through adjudication?

Adjudication is widely used in construction disputes. This is because the construction industry has developed its own Arbitration rules and is driven by the need for a quick outcome.

However, more recently Adjudication schemes have been extended to certain professional negligence claims and no doubt in the future more types of disputes will become suitable for Adjudication.

What are the advantages of adjudication?

The biggest advantage of adjudication is speed. For example, in the construction industry, you could reach a decision within 28 days and this minimises the risk of a project being delayed until the dispute is resolved, which in turn could lead to even more losses.

How much does adjudication cost?

The costs will depend on the complexity of the case, whether you employ a barrister to work alongside your lawyers, whether you employ an expert and the seniority of the Adjudicator.

Controlling your costs and spending your money most effectively is an important factor in Adjudication and this is where the advise of a lawyer could prove invaluable.

The legal costs are not recoverable from the losing party and in addition to your legal costs there are also the Adjudicator’s costs.

Who pays for adjudication?

Each party will be responsible for their own costs as well at the Adjudicator’s costs. The Adjudicator can’t award one part to pay the other party’s legal costs but can make such an order in respect of the Adjudicator’s fee.

Taking businesses from idea to ideal

Submit your enquiry today to receive expert guidance from our dispute resolution lawyers.

Our lawyers and arbitrators provide quick and accessible legal advice at half the price of a high street legal company. We offer a free no-obligation 15 min legal phone consultation with our expert lawyers or arbitrators, depending on your business's needs.

Why use LawBite?

We're dispute resolution experts - regulated and experienced UK Lawyers and Arbitrators

Lawbriefs, LawBite’s regulated law firm, working in conjunction with our platform

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