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Arbitration

Our specialist ADR team have the expertise you need to manage a dispute effectively and make sure that arbitration issues are handled correctly. We strive to achieve the best outcome for you and your business. If you would like more information about our arbitration services, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly and helpful team.

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What is Arbitration?

Arbitration is a method of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) which serves as an effective means of resolving commercial disputes without having to go to court.

These proceedings will usually arise if agreement cannot be reached between disputing parties but both parties agree to refer the case to an independent arbitrator (neutral individual or body) and accept their decision on the matter. This will usually take place by way of Arbitration.

Arbitration results in a decision that is binding on all parties involved and is based upon an agreement by the parties to have a dispute settled in this manner. There is limited right to revert to the Court and the decision is imposed on the parties.

Arbitration is more procedural and provides greater finality than other methods of ADR, which generally require some form of consensus between the parties to reach a resolution.

Who should seek Arbitration?

Parties who are in dispute and require a formal binding decision to resolve and conclude their dispute can seek the services of an arbitrator. It is usual practice for the parties to appoint just one arbitrator but in some cases the parties may appoint a panel of arbitrators, usually three.

The arbitrator(s) are independent and on hearing and or reviewing the documents the parties submit they shall provide an award (decision), which is final and binding on the parties. In some cases, a hearing will not be required, and the arbitrator can simply provide an award (decision) through the written documents that they have received. We aim to resolve disputes in arbitration as it is considered much quicker than entering into litigation.

Please note that many businesses nowadays enter into contracts which include arbitration clauses. Where this is the case and a dispute arises, under section 7 of the Arbitration Act 1996, parties must go through the arbitration process and cannot go straight to court (unless otherwise agreed by the parties in the contract).

FAQ

What are the advantages of arbitration?

Arbitration awards (decisions) are reached more quickly and efficiently than traditional court proceedings.

Arbitration is also cost effective and more convenient for companies seeking alternative dispute resolutions.

If you are the successful party in arbitration, there are not many paths for the opposing party to seek an appeal for arbitration.

Arbitrators carry a degree of expertise and can deal with any technicalities about the case.

Arbitration is a confidential procedure; therefore all awards are made privately and not disclosed to the public.

What is difference between arbitration and litigation?

Arbitration differs from litigation in the following ways:

Contractual foundation: Compared to litigation, arbitration arises from contract. The rights and/or duties of the parties will already be confirmed within the contract, as well as the decision to arbitrate in circumstances where a dispute arises.

Location: In arbitration, the parties can choose the location of the proceedings.

Confidentiality: arbitration is generally confidential and private.

The final decision: a decision made by an arbitrator is generally definitive and is not appealed or challenged. However, it is important to note that an appeal can be made exceptional circumstances.

What is the role of the arbitrator?

The arbitrator has a duty to act fairly and impartially between the parties, they must also prevent any delays, costs, and unambiguity.

Once the arbitrator has heard the case in its entirety, they must make a final decision to reach a settlement and share this decision with both parties.

Decisions are usually final and binding. However, if one of the parties are unhappy with the settlement, they can bring their dispute before the court. it is important to note that if you bring your dispute before the court, you are still entitled to follow the arbitrator’s decision until the court may overturn the ruling. However, the court often avoids overruling the arbitrator’s decision.

What is the time limit for bringing a claim through Arbitration?

In Northern Ireland, the time limits for bringing an arbitration, or the limitation periods, will depend on the nature of the dispute and the relevant legal provisions.

Consult with our solicitors at P.A. Duffy and Co. who will review any relevant contracts or agreements to determine the specific time limits that may apply to your ADR process.

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Our Alternative Dispute Resolution Solicitors

Kieran QuinnKieran QuinnDirector
Emma McCaulEmma McCaulSolicitor
Ellen BatesEllen BatesTrainee Solicitor