Privately resolve disputes

Arbitration is the private sector equivalent of litigation. Before the advent of adjudication in the UK it was the method most widely used to resolve construction related disputes. It still remains the most favoured process for settling international construction disputes. Advantages and disadvantages of arbitration therefore have to be viewed in a domestic and international context although many aspects are common to both.

In the UK arbitration is regulated by the Arbitration Act 1996. Arbitration is a finally binding dispute resolution process with limited grounds for appeal.

Some aspects of Arbitration are more flexible than litigation. Procedures may be varied by the parties to suit the size and complexity of their dispute. A small dispute may be heard on the basis of documentary submissions alone which can reduce the costs significantly. More complex disputes will usually have a hearing in which the evidence put forward by each party is tested by cross-examination.

An Arbitratorsí decision is known as an Award and if required, can be enforced via the courts in the same manner as a court judgment.

The two main benefits of arbitration are that it is a confidential process unlike litigation and the parties are able to select an arbitrator of their choice, usually someone with particular expertise in the subject matter of the dispute.