Specialist solicitors to the construction and engineering industries
What is Arbitration?
Arbitration – note to be confused with Adjudication – has, for many years, been a leading form of dispute resolution for commercial claims and is an alternative to Litigation. Arbitration involves the final determination of a dispute between two parties by a neutral third party, known as an Arbitrator. Unlike Litigation, Arbitration is a private process and the Arbitrator is appointed at the request of one or both of the parties.
How Does Arbitration in Construction Disputes Work:
Arbitration is where both parties agree (ordinarily in a contract before a dispute arises) to submit their dispute to Arbitration rather than through the courts. Parties can however agree to Arbitration on an ad hoc basis even if such an ‘arbitration clause’ does not exist.
The Arbitrator will listen to both sides of the dispute, and consider any evidence such as witness statements, documents, and expert opinions.
The parties’ agreement gives the Arbitrator the power to issue a decision as to the parties’ rights and obligations, and that decision will be legally binding on all parties.
Advantages of Arbitration:
- Privacy – there is no public record of any proceedings, although not necessarily confidential.
- Convenience – in litigation the dates for trials are determined by the Court, which means there can often be a long wait for trial dates particularly where a matter requires several court days. In the Arbitration process, dates can be agreed between the parties to those most suitable to them and their witnesses.
- Flexibility – Compared to litigation, there is generally greater scope for flexibility in the procedural directions given by the arbitrator. The process is more party driven.
- Finality – The arbitrator’s award can be enforced as a judgement of the court.
How can Hawkswell Kilvington Help:
We are here to help with the Arbitration process in respect of construction disputes of any size. Hawkswell Kilvington has successfully handled numerous arbitrations for contractors, sub-contractors, and employers in the UK. These have included complex and high value claims relating to the process and heavy engineering industries.
If you would like to discuss a construction dispute and Arbitration,