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Consensual nature of the arbitration process
Arbitration proceedings are a consensual, contractual process, agreed by the parties.
- There is no formal courtroom, nor judges or counsel ‘robed’ in a wig and gown as it would be for a trial.
- whilst the hearing it does not have the formality of the court process, the arbitration proceedings are usually conducted with the same level of diligence and exertion by the parties.
Confidential nature of the arbitration hearing
The hearing is ‘in camera’ ie in private.
- This keeps the nature of the dispute confidential, ensuing that no business secrets, or sensitive information will come to light.
- by contrast proceedings in England & Wales are subject to the concept of open justice, ie that the starting position is that hearings are open to the public, and can be attended by the press.
Organising an Arbitration hearing
Hearings can be organised by the tribunal, parties or the arbitral institutions. Much akin to organising a mediation, parties need to consider the logistics of organising the hearing themselves, as there is no Court venue to attend.
- parties will need to organise a hearing room, break out rooms for each party and the tribunal, as well as possibly accommodation.
- In arbitrations in London, it is common for parties to book facilities through organisations such as the International Dispute Resolution Centre, in Fleet Street.
- such organisations also usually provide facilities on site for printing, telephones, monitors, transcribing, and of course refreshments.
Structure of the Arbitration hearing
The structure of the hearing will also need to be agreed by the parties. Matters to be considered are:
- how many hearings do there need to be?
- what is the time limit for opening statements/arguments?
- what is the time limit for witness examination?
- will there be closing submissions or post hearing briefs, or both?
Whatever your Arbitration needs – FWJ, has the team for you. We have extensive experience of such matters, and will be able to assist and guide you every step of the way in the dispute resolution process.