Codobo Law has considerable experience of arbitration proceedings, from lower value, documents only proceedings, to multi-million pound disputes with hearings lasting several weeks.
Arbitration was considered a favourable alternative to litigation for disputes within the construction industry. The proceedings and the decision are confidential and this was a key factor. Most standard form contracts contained, and still contain, arbitration clauses which, if incorporated, can prevent a party from litigating a dispute.
The enforcement of arbitration awards can be simpler than court judgments especially with international disputes involving assets or parties based overseas. The parties can also tailor the procedures to the needs of the particular dispute.
However, arbitration costs can be high (the parties have to meet the costs of the tribunal and all administrative costs) and can exceed those of litigation. The Technology and Construction Court is also becoming far more proactive in case management and setting procedures to suit the needs of the dispute.
The right to arbitrate derives from the clause in the building contract and therefore there is no power to join 3rd parties (such as designers or subcontractors) in to the arbitration proceedings.
Arbitration is used less frequently than a few years ago, and parties should give careful consideration as to whether or not an arbitration clause is suitable for any particular contract.