Arbitration: International & Domestic

Your construction contract might, like many others, contain a clause requiring disputes to be referred to arbitration. Arbitration is a leading form of dispute resolution and has been used by the construction industry for many years.

What is arbitration?

Arbitration is a form of adversarial dispute resolution that is an alternative to court proceedings. It is experiencing something of a revival as the construction industry has become more disillusioned with adjudication.

Arbitration is more like court proceedings than adjudication; it is a more formal process and takes longer than adjudication. It does however provide a result that not only is binding and enforceable but also can only be challenged on very limited grounds and although the full costs of an arbitration will usually be higher than those of an adjudication, unlike Adjudicators, Arbitrators can decide that parties must pay each other’s own costs.

Arbitration clauses may require the parties to abide by particular procedural rules, such as the JCT's CIMAR (Construction Industry Model Arbitration Rules), the LCIA Arbitration Rules, or the ICC Arbitration Rules. The Arbitration Act 1996 largely codifies the law for arbitrations conducted under English procedural law.

Many arbitrations settle before the costs of the full process are incurred, meaning that commencement of arbitration can result in lower overall fees than adjudication.

When can arbitration be used?

Arbitration must be agreed by the parties either in the contract itself or at a later stage. Where there is an agreement to arbitrate, court proceedings can only be started in limited circumstances.

An arbitration clause or agreement does not prevent the parties to a construction contract from adjudicating, unless the contract is exempt for adjudication for some other reason (for example, where one of the parties is a residential occupier).

Much like adjudication there must be a clear dispute to be arbitrated upon.

How we can help

Unlike many of our competitors, CCC have experience in all aspects of arbitration, to hearing stage and beyond, including cost hearings and enforcement.

CCC play an active role in the ongoing development of arbitration. Peter McCartney is an Arbitrator and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Christopher Dean is a Fellow and Lisa Vernon is a full Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Free initial consultation

If you are considering commencing an arbitration, or if an arbitration has been commenced against you, specialist representation is a must if you are to get the best result possible. CCC can provide this. Our consultants routinely represent clients at every stage of the process including:

  • Drafting Notice of Arbitration and Statements of Case;
  • Dealing with witness evidence;
  • Appointing experts and making the most of their specialist knowledge; and
  • Representing clients at all levels of arbitration hearings.

You can increase your prospects of success immediately by discussing matters with us.

Taking advantage of a free initial consultation at the beginning of an arbitration could mean a drastically different result at the end. Please contact us by phone, email or using our contact form for a free initial consultation to discuss how we can help you.