Arbitration and Mediation
Litigating disputes in Court, while seen as necessary for many businesses, is costly, time consuming and uncertain. Parties to commercial disputes are therefore encouraged to consider all forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution. At Nash & Co. we are experienced in advising commercial parties on how to best resolve their dispute outside of court proceedings, using Alternative Dispute Resolution, which includes mediation and arbitration.
“We understand that, for most parties, the prospect of spending months or even years locked in expensive litigation through the courts is daunting. That’s why there has been an increasing emphasis over the past few years for parties to take up Alternative Dispute Resolution instead, which includes mediation and arbitration. The success rate of mediation speaks for itself and we believe parties are much happier when they find themselves with more control over the course of their dispute.”
Ieuan Jones, Solicitor
What is mediation?
Mediation is where the parties to a dispute get together to sort out their differences, on a without prejudice basis, with a mediator acting as “referee” in the process. The goal is to achieve settlement by the end of the day and, all being well and if the parties enter into it in good faith, this is mostly the case. Parties find mediation attractive because it is a flexible and straightforward process, it gives control of the course of the dispute back to them, and can save them time and cost in the long run. According to CEDR (the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution) the success rate of commercial mediations in recent years has been 89% – with 74% settling on the day and the other 15% shortly afterwards. It’s no wonder parties are deciding more and more to engage in this process rather than resort to full blown litigation.
What’s the difference between arbitration and mediation?
Although arbitration and mediation are often mentioned in the same breath, they are in fact quite different procedures. With arbitration, parties will either have agreed to arbitrate in advance or, if they wish to avoid court proceedings, can decide to arbitrate on a private basis. Depending on the type of arbitration, either a single arbitrator is appointed by both parties, or each party appoints their own one, with a final arbitrator appointed to the panel at a final hearing. Many kinds of contract (such as shipping contracts) sign parties up to arbitration where there is a dispute within it. There are also bodies such as LCIA (the London Court of International Arbitration) where commercial parties can agree to go to arbitration instead of to court, without actually having a pre-existing arbitration agreement. Parties tend to be attracted by the relatively straightforward and swift proceedings in arbitration, although as this procedure is paid for privately, it is not always cost effective for them.
At Nash at Co Solicitors we have experience of both mediation and arbitration, and can advise you on costs, procedure, and which is most appropriate.
Recent Team experience includes:
- Settling a £1 million loan debt recovery at commercial mediation, acting on behalf of the lender
- Recovering more than $2 million plus compound interest and legal costs on behalf of a large cargo vessel owner, in an LMAA demurrage arbitration
- Acting for a large utility company defending a high value business loss claim in a Water Industry Act arbitration
- Acting for a bespoke toy designer in the mediation of a claim by a large-scale toy manufacturer
If you require advice or you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss the options available to you. Please speak to Ieuan Jones on 01752 827120 or email him on [email protected]