The benefits of using arbitration in dispute resolution and whether it is suitable for you

Arbitration is a method of dispute resolution which is designed to resolve issues without the need to go to court. Disputes can often become protracted which may be avoided if legal arbitration services are used early on.

As a form of alternative dispute resolution, arbitration is a popular option for individuals and businesses alike. 

In this guide, we will take a closer look at arbitration enabling you to decide whether it is appropriate for your dispute.

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What is arbitration, and how does it differ from other methods of dispute resolution?

Arbitration leaves the final decision relating to the dispute in the hands of a third party, the arbitrator. An arbitrator is a qualified person who is appointed to adjudicate. The arbitrator’s decision will be final and legally binding. A court order is required to enable enforcement to the final decision.

Unlike litigation, arbitration is held in private. The procedure is more formal than that involving mediation. It also differs from mediation in that a mediator is not able to make a legally binding decision whereas an arbitrator can make a legally binding decision. Arbitration is more flexible than court proceedings - you are able to appoint an arbitrator that specialises in your specific type of dispute, and you can also choose dates and times that are convenient for you. Arbitration meetings can also take place virtually if required.

Who is arbitration suitable for?

Arbitration tends to only be used in circumstances where parties feel that the opportunity for a calm measured discussion is not achievable as all options for a good-natured communication leading to resolution of a dispute have passed and tensions are running high preventing the parties to be able to communicate calmly and effectively through mediation. Arbitration often proves to be a low-cost and speedier solution. Arbitration is frequently used in commercial cross-border disputes, such as debt colletion and contractual disputes. It can also be applied to boundary disputes to those involving children. However, it is worth noting that if a dispute involves the safeguarding of a child or a child leaving their current jurisdiction, formal judicial proceedings will be required.

Read about how arbitration can be helpful in family disputes here.

What are the key benefits of using arbitration to resolve a dispute?

The main benefit of using arbitration in dispute resolutions is its efficiency when compared to standard court proceedings. An arbitration hearing can be dealt in just one week, in comparison to a final court hearing, which could take six months or even longer. Once the hearing date is set, there is very little chance of it being cancelled, changed, or postponed, and you will also have peace of mind in knowing the dispute will be resolved in a private and confidential way.

In addition, you are able to choose an arbitrator yourself, which makes it possible to choose an individual with skills that match your own situation and issue. The arbitrator will continue to work with you throughout the process and can liaise with your legal team directly to ensure a smooth and stress-free dispute resolution process.

What can I expect from arbitration?

Arbitration will commence when written notice is served to the other involved party or the appointing authority. The parties will agree to refer their dispute for resolution to the arbitrator, who will use rules laid out by the Arbitration Acts to make a decision. The decision is known as an award and is legally binding, so it is important to engage with a legal team during the process.

Where does arbitration take place?

An arbitration hearing can take place either in person or virtually, which makes this form of dispute resolution ideal for parties that do not want to be in the same room. If a party is not present for the hearing, the arbitration will still proceed. The location for arbitration is very flexible, and this depends on the nature of the dispute and the preferences of both parties.

How Giambrone & Partners' dispute resolution service can help

Here at Giambrone, we specialise in all aspects of arbitration, litigation and alternative dispute resolution. We present a pragmatic and grounded approach to problem-solving through our dispute resolution services. Giambrone’s arbitration service ensures that disputes are settled as quickly as possible to minimise both costs and stress associated with lengthy discussions. You can read more about Giambrone‘s arbitration and dispute resolution services here.

If you would like to find out more about how we can help you or arrange an appointment, please contact our experienced team today.

Frequently asked questions - Using arbitration in a dispute

When can you use arbitration?

Arbitration is used to resolve a range of disputes in both the public, private and commercial sectors. Disputes relating to money, property, family arrangements, damages and contractual breaches are often referred to arbitration.

Why would a party choose arbitration over litigation?

Arbitration is often chosen over litigation as it can be less expensive as well as being a more efficient option. The negotiations are conducted in a private environment as opposed to an open court where members of the public and press can be present.

What are the disadvantages of arbitration?

The decision is reliant on the skills and experience of the chosen arbitrator, and there is limited scope to challenge the decision of the arbitrator. There are specific grounds for challenging an arbitrator, such as if there are doubts about an arbitrator’s impartiality, independence or if they do not possess the qualifications agreed to by the parties.

Do you need to hire a lawyer in a dispute?

If you are trying to negotiate your way through a complex dispute, it is probable that you will need legal representation or advice. Although you do not legally need to hire a lawyer for arbitration. However, it is important to remember that any decision made during the course of arbitration is legally binding. It is a wise choice to seek professional assistance.

How does the arbitration process start?

Typically, a claimant will begin the arbitration process by issuing a document to the other party/parties known as a request for arbitration. Once this is issued, an arbitrator will be appointed, and arbitration proceedings will begin.

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