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Home // Using Arbitration to resolve complex Commercial Disputes

At Nath Solicitors we use a range of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods, including mediation and negotiation.

This helps us reach appropriate agreements for our commercial clients engaged in risky legal disputes.  Sometimes – when a contentious matter is particularly complicated, involves large sums of money or has an international element – we use commercial arbitration, often under the auspices of the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA).

WHAT IS THE LCIA?

The LCIA is one of the most respected global forums for resolving commercial disputes. Nath Solicitors is located close to the central London LCIA offices and over the years we have built up a trusted network of barristers who specialise in LCIA proceedings. We have also established good working relationships with key LCIA staff, including many of the specialist arbitrators. This enables us to provide an efficient and cost-effective commercial arbitration service no matter where you are in the world and irrespective if which legal system governs the commercial contract you are in dispute over.

WHY CHOOSE ARBITRATION OVER COURT OR OTHER FORMS OF ADR?

Adopting the LCIA framework as a way of resolving your commercial dispute (or using the procedures of another arbitral institution such as the International Chamber of Commerce  (ICC)) won’t be advisable in every case.  For example, many internal shareholder disputes are best resolved through informal negotiation.

In practice the expense and more formal setting of commercial arbitration compared to mediation or direct negotiations mean it’s only appropriate when there is a lot at stake. This may be because the dispute involves considerable sums of money or valuable property or because there is a high risk of damage  – to your commercial reputation. That said there are a number of distinct benefits of arbitration. These include:

  • Flexibility – Parties have a high degree of control over the running of the arbitration
  • A binding decision – ADR methods like mediation don’t produce a binding decision but a commercial arbitration ‘award’ (decision) is not only binding but is also internationally recognised and enforceable across the globe
  • Privacy – Arbitration is a private process between the parties. This means avoiding damaging publicity and preventing the exposure of sensitive commercial data – always possible during a court case that’s held in public
  • An expert arbitrator – The arbitrator making the decision will possess a degree of expertise in the subject matter of your dispute that a judge won’t always have. This can drastically cut down the need for background explanations and the use of technical witnesses to clarify matters. (These are sometimes required for a judge sitting in court.) Parties to the arbitration get to choose the arbitrator so they can ensure the person making the decision is equipped with appropriate expertise.
  • Limits on appeal – Arbitration awards are generally less open to appeal than court decisions. For many of our clients this is attractive because it ensures there is relatively swift closure of the dispute and certainty that the decision won’t be challenged.

WHEN CAN I DECIDE TO ARBITRATE?

It’s crucial to remember that commercial arbitration – at the LCIA or anywhere else – is a voluntary procedure. That’s to say you and the party you are in dispute with must both agree to the arbitration. Usually a commercial contract will specify whether or not disputes should be referred to arbitration instead of following the more traditional court route. It’s important therefore when entering contracts to get specialist legal advice on terms and to consider whether or not arbitration might be the best way to resolve any future disputes under the contract.

Contact Our Arbitration and Commercial Dispute Lawyers London

We advise businesses on all aspects of commercial arbitration under LCIA and other arbitral organisation rules. We can also assist companies in developing their own ad hoc arbitration procedures where appropriate.  Please contact Nath Solicitors on 44 (0) 203 670 5540 or contact the firm online.

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