The rules governing arbitration are set out in the Arbitration Act 1996. In most cases the parties can choose whether to appoint a single arbitrator, or select a panel of three to five arbitrators. The role of an arbitrator varies depending on the type of dispute that is being heard. It also depends on the type of arbitration used.

In low-value consumer disputes, the arbitrator’s role is likely to be limited to making a decision on the basis of written submissions made by the parties. There are some consumer-run schemes designed to cover specific disputes, and the organisers of the schemes are responsible for appointing the arbitrator.

Employment disputes can also be resolved through arbitration. In employment disputes, the arbitrator is likely to hear both oral and written evidence and submissions from the parties. On the basis of this, they will then pass judgment. The Advice, Conciliation and Arbitration Service is responsible for appointing an arbitrator in these disputes.

An arbitrator’s decision can be subject to legal challenge under the Arbitration Act 1996. However, there is limited scope for this. There is an arbitration scheme which runs appeals. If you want to appeal a decision made by an arbitrator, you should seek expert legal advice. The costs of making an appeal can be excessive. Therefore, you should ensure you justify this expense by giving yourself the best possible chance to succeed on appeal. The best way to do this is by instructing a specialist solicitor.  

If you would like to obtain legal advice and information on arbitration, Caven can put you in touch with a local specialist commercial solicitor / arbitrator free of charge. So, if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local commercial solicitors / arbitrator please call us on 08001 221 2299 or complete the web-form above.

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