THE WORSHIPFUL COMPANY OF ARBITRATORS
Members of the Worshipful Company of Arbitrators are practitioners in all forms of dispute resolution including arbitration, mediation, adjudication, neutral evaluation and expert determination. Some also practise as Ombudsmen. The wide range of business and professional backgrounds of the members and their commercial experience enhances the role they fulfil for parties in dispute.
Businesses can use these processes to resolve disputes speedily and in a confidential forum. Arbitrators make legally enforceable decisions (‘Awards’) which are readily enforceable in most countries of the world. Arbitration is uniquely suited to international disputes where the Tribunal and forum, both chosen by the parties, can reflect the differing national expectations of the parties and avoid the potential bias in having to submit to the National courts of one of the contesting parties. Arbitration covers every possible area of commerce and business including insurance, shipping, brokerage and commodities trading, banking and technical disputes arising from infrastructure, oil and gas, computer systems and other types of project or investment.
Creating wealth, giving time and supporting people
Effective and efficient dispute resolution reduces project delays limiting environmental impact and also reduces costs so as to conserve business resources that can then be applied to wealth creation.
Dispute resolution techniques, including mediation and conciliation, offer support to all groups from communities and families to international commercial entities. The Company encourages young people from all backgrounds to learn more about the techniques involved and actively supports students from around the world.
Further, arbitration and mediation can change the approach of parties locked into disputes and improve the relationship between the parties. Community and family mediation transforms personal relationships improving the quality of life for individuals and society in general.
Facts and Figures
London is the base for many specialist trading bodies such as GAFTA (Grain and Feed Trade Association), FOSFA (Federation of Oils, Seeds and Fats Association) and the LMAA (London Maritime Arbitrators Association) and accounts for over 80% of world arbitration in their sectors. At a more general level, London is the home of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators which has a worldwide reach and many overseas branches. It remains the principal and most highly-rated provider of profession al training and qualification in arbitration. This is complimented by the London Court of International Arbitration which administers arbitration cases from all over the world, appoints international Tribunals and directs hearings in London and in many other jurisdictions. Some 4,500 international arbitrations (many involving non UK parties) were submitted to UK arbitral appointing bodies in 2012. At the same time there are typically some 20,000 referrals involving UK parties.
Areas of Financial Services Expertise
- Internationally London is the most preferred seat of international arbitration said to be favoured by 30% of parties with close rivals being Geneva, Paris and Singapore.
- UK organisations provide expertise and support for arbitration and for Alternative Dispute Resolution services, as well as training and qualification for arbitrators and mediators. London offers particular support for emerging centres such as Dubai and Qatar, for the newer EU States and, further afield, India and the Far East.
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- Many Countries including new and aspiring EU members, Russia, China and the Commonwealth look to the UK for advice in developing the use of arbitration and mediation including the maintenance of professional and ethical standards in the resolution of disputes. Arbitration functions most effectively in countries which encourage party autonomy against a backdrop of supportive legislation (e.g. the Arbitration Act 1996 in England and Wales and the Arbitration (Scotland) Act 2010 in Scotland) and a ‘light touch’ level of supervisory intervention by the Courts. A key international issue currently concerns the balance between party autonomy and Court intervention in certain jurisdictions.
- Arbitration can assist parties doing business in any part of the world where assurance is needed that contracts can be enforced and financial obligations complied with. Arbitration avoids recourse to local courts which are unlikely to be suitable to deal with commercial disputes and in any event will not be seen as unbiased. By using arbitration a multi-national contract can be enforced through a neutral international Tribunal.
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