Privacy of Arbitration Endorsed by High Court Judge

May 04, 2015  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

In a recently published case involving a complex land trust dispute, High Court judge Sir Nicholas Mostyn QC endorsed arbitration as an effective method of resolving disputes privately out of court.

Sir Nicholas highlighted the benefits of arbitration in response to a request that the details of the case be kept private. While this was not permissible in that particular case, the judge’s advice applies to anyone wishing to proceed with legal action while avoiding the public and disruptive nature of a court appearance:

“Where parties are agreed that their case should be afforded total privacy there is a very simple solution: they sign an arbitration agreement.

“Arbitration has long been available in proceedings such as these. Recently arbitration has also become available in financial remedy proceedings by virtue of the much-to-be-welcomed scheme promoted by the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators.

“In those proceedings also privacy can now be guaranteed.”

Traditionally, arbitration has been used to resolve commercial and property disputes, enabling these issues to be resolved out of court. However, in recent years the reach of arbitration has been widened to include family law, and this method has been proven to work particularly effectively in resolving financial disputes during separation.

Arbitration provides couples with a structured and formal framework for their separation while having several advantages over a court divorce:

  • Arbitration is generally cheaper, faster and more flexible than going to court, and can be entered into with or without lawyers;
  • You are in charge of choosing the location and timescale of arbitration meetings, as well as choosing the arbitrator who oversees your case;
  • Arbitrators are experts in family law and are impartial. Based on your situation, they will put forward a balanced and fair agreement for you both to sign, which is legally binding. This is particularly useful if you are struggling to come to a solution and need an objective expert to make a decision for you;
  • Arbitration can be used for single issues as well as more complex situations;
  • Arbitration is private, allowing you to resolve your disputes out of court with dignity.

As an alternative method of dispute resolution, arbitration has been proven to be effective in financial, property and commercial issues, and is an excellent option for anyone looking for a private and simplified solution. By removing the stress, cost and time involved in going to court, arbitration proceedings are often much less combative and far more efficient. What’s more, arbitration is not just for the big money cases. In fact, arbitration is perfect for ordinary case where agreement can be reached in private, or where it would be useful to have a decision on one or two outstanding issues.

In 2011, Frances Lindsay became one of the first fully accredited family law arbitrators in England and Wales, and now offers a range of out-of-court options for dispute resolution, including arbitration, mediation and collaborative family law. For advice and information on arbitration in the Thames Valley and London, get in touch with Frances Lindsay & Co.

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