Arbitration is a private, informal and consensual process where the parties to a dispute agree to have the matter resolved by the decision (‘Award’) of one or more impartial persons (‘Arbitrators’). The agreement to arbitrate may be expressly provided for within a contract, or it may be entered into after the dispute has arisen. Arbitration may take place in any country, in any language, and with arbitrators of any nationality. Generally, the Award is final and legally binding on the parties.

Arbitration is subject to a number of different laws. These include:

  • the law governing the parties’ capacity to enter into an arbitration agreement
  • the law governing the arbitration agreement
  • the law governing the arbitral tribunal and its proceedings
  • the law governing the substance of the dispute
  • the law governing recognition and enforcement of the Award

Arbitration in England is predominantly regulated by the Arbitration Act 1996. For international arbitration, unlike its domestic counterpart, there is continuous interplay between various national and international laws. Even a relatively simple international arbitration may involve reference to four or five different national systems of law or legal rules.

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Arbitration is now recognised worldwide as an effective and attractive alternative to court litigation for dispute resolution. It is most commonly used for the settlement of commercial disputes, particularly in the context of international commercial transactions. With over 140 countries adopting the provisions of the 1958 New York Convention, an arbitral award enjoys much greater international recognition than judgements of national courts. The Convention facilitates enforcement of foreign arbitral awards in all contracting states.

If you are looking to appoint an arbitrator for construction disputes, Nigel Grout has over 35 years experience as a civil engineering Quantity Surveyor, and specialises in the resolution of disputes and contentious issues on highways, structures, water, rail and infrastructure projects. Nigel is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, and has formal training and qualifications in international commercial arbitration. He is a panel or listed arbitrator with a number of international arbitral organisations, including London (LCIA), Cairo (CRCICA), Mauritius (MCCI), Qatar, Vilnius (VCCA) and Danish Arbitration. Nigel is available to receive appointments to act as arbitrator in the UK and worldwide.

Nigel Grout FCIHT, FCIArb, DipICArb Tel: +44 (0) 7966 165797 © Digital Paint 2007


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