Arbitration is generally used as a form of business and commercial dispute resolution, but has been recently used in some high profile divorce cases.
The first thing you should know about arbitration is that both parties must voluntarily agree to the process. If you do decide to proceed, you will attend an arbitration hearing with an independent arbitrator who will be a specialist in the area of law relevant to your dispute.
At the meeting, both parties will put forward their grievance and supporting evidence. You can do this by yourself, or you can have someone such as a solicitor to represent you. You can call witnesses, but there will be no formal cross-examination or swearing of oaths.
Once everything has been heard, the independent arbitrator will make a decision regarding the dispute. In most cases, this decision will be legally binding. If one party breaches this decision – for example, because they refuse to pay the other person compensation – action can be taken in the courts.
Arbitration can be used regardless of the nature of your grievance. It is regularly called upon during employment disputes, but can be just as effective in family, probate and neighbour disputes.
As a form of alternative dispute resolution it is becoming increasingly popular. The main bonus is that is offers complete privacy to the disputing parties. Unlike the courts, members of the public are not allowed inside arbitration hearings, while the documents used as evidence cannot be disclosed. Even the outcome is not reported. This gives you complete confidentiality, saving reputations from being tarnished.
Alongside these personal benefits, arbitration will undoubtedly be advantageous financially, enabling you to avoid the costly process of litigation through the courts – something which can be a significant drain on resources. Many people also favour the idea of a final, legally-binding decision, thereby ensuring the matter is over and dealt with in a timely fashion.
If you would like to know more about arbitration and the ways in which it can help you resolve your dispute, simply get in touch with a solicitor who specialises in disputes and litigation to discuss your options.
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