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Insight into the World of Arbitration

Medico Legal

The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) is a leading professional membership organisation representing the interests of alternative dispute resolution practitioners worldwide. It has more than 14,000 members across the globe and 37 branches internationally

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Founded in 1915, CIArb was granted a Royal Charter in 1979. Today it is the leading membership body overseeing the global promotion, facilitation and development of all forms of private dispute resolution.

CIArb provides:

• A dispute appointment service comprised of highly trained and experienced ADR practitioners that deal with both commercial and civil disputes

• Globally recognised education and training for arbitrators, mediators and adjudicators

• Practice Guidelines, Protocols and Rules to generate a better standard of ADR practice worldwide 

• Access to respected books, journals, papers and reports produced by the Institute

• An international centre for practitioners, policy makers, academics and those in business concerned with the cost-effective and early settlement of disputes.

We speak with Olivia Staines, Head of Marketing and Communications at CIArb, to discuss the benefits of arbitration, CIArb’s Dispute Appointment Service

(DAS) and the Institute’s Business Arbitration Scheme.

What are the benefits of arbitration as an alternative to litigation? Is arbitration the way forward for the average commercial dispute?

In the current climate of rising court fees andoverloaded court systems, arbitration has been praised for its procedural flexibility, limited grounds of appeal, speed and cost-efficiency. It also offers confidentiality, a key advantage for businesses who want to preserve trade secrets and avoid the public eye.

With the surge in foreign direct investment and global trade, international arbitration is the most widely used dispute resolution method for conflicts involving big businesses, states and investors. International arbitration offers parties the opportunity to select a neutral forum for the settlement of their dispute. It also provides for both international arbitration agreements and arbitral awards to be enforced transnationally pursuant to the New York Convention 1958. 

Whether arbitration is the best option for the ‘average commercial dispute’ will depend on the nature of the case and the needs of the parties. Commercial disputes can be submitted to both arbitration and mediation. Both procedures involve the presence of neutral and impartial third parties and both provide a more flexible framework than litigation. International commercial arbitration remains a popular option when dealing with high value and complicated international commercial disputes.

Your Dispute Appointment Service (DAS) offers a range of ADR methods. What makes it the ‘go- to’ service out there?

DAS is a pivotal part of CIArb, providing quick, confidential and cost effective methods of settlement or resolution of domestic and international disputes.

We offer a complete range of ADR methods including arbitration, adjudication, mediation and independent expert determination and can deal with many types of disputes in diverse areas. DAS primarily acts as an appointing body through its Presidential Appointments Service, but it can also recommend suitable dispute resolvers for party agreement.In addition, DAS offers institutional rules and bespoke ADR schemes for specialist areas or low value disputes.

The Presidential Appointments Service is made up of highly trained and experienced ADR practitioners (Presidential Panels) selected from our membership that can deal with both commercial and civil disputes.

Members of the Presidential Panels of Chartered Arbitrators, accredited mediatiors and accredited construction adjudicators must have demonstrated to the Institute that they have a high level of knowledge, skill and experience in their discipline, that they have undertaken an appropriate programme of continuous training and personal professional development, and that they are committed to high ethical and professional standards.

DAS is particularly popular with users as it charges for its services on a fixed cost basis (as opposed to ad valorem or time based charges), giving the parties certainty about the administrative costs from the outset. DAS will appeal to those parties who want adhoc proceedings, with the benefit of a reputable and neutral appointing body to select their dispute resolver.

How do you create and maintain a better standard of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) practice worldwide?

CIArb’s Practice and Standards Committee (PSC) is responsible for creating a better standard of alternative dispute resolution practice, on a worldwide basis. The Committee develops and publishes arbitration, mediation and construction adjudication guidelines of good practice and the Institute’s principal rules and procedures for the practice and delivery of private dispute resolution. The PSC also develops our Code of Ethics.

Can you tell us more about the Business Arbitration Scheme (BAS) and its benefits for users?

The Business Arbitration Scheme (BAS) wasdeveloped by CIArb to provide simple, cost-effective, and timely resolution of disputes of low to medium monetary value (£5,000 - £100,000), by arbitration before a sole arbitrator.

Crucially, BAS is a fixed fee scheme administered by DAS, giving the parties’ certainty as to costs. A fixed fee of £1,250 + VAT is payable by each party on  commencement of the arbitration, to cover CIArb’s administrative costs and the arbitrator’s fees. BAS also offers a final and legally binding award in less  than 90 days from the appointment of the arbitrator.

The scheme is simple enough to allow most businesses to present their own case without legal representation, and the costs recoverable have been limited to  protect parties against liability for their opponents’ high legal bills.

To cater to the needs of parties, formal procedural steps are kept to a minimum (exchange of statements of case, documents and evidence), which  shortens  the timetable and reduces the expense of preparing the case. The process is private and confidential and parties can rest assured that the award is enforceable  in the same way as a court judgement.

Olivia Staines

Head of Marketing and Communications

The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb)

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7421 7483

Web: www.ciarb.org