The Advantages of Arbitration
Some of the advantages in utilizing the Centre in a domestic or international dispute include the following:
- The procedures are more flexible than litigation, staying within the control of the parties.
- Litigation is expensive. Not only must lawyers’ fees, disbursements and court costs be taken into account, but also the demand on management time for prolonged discoveries and review of documents. The Centre’s rules provide for discovery, but they can be limited and expedited.
- The litigation process can be lengthy and costly from a business perspective, pending the final resolution of a dispute that could take five years or even longer. The appeal process is available if there is an arbitral error or an issue is of significant public importance or important to a specific class.
- The process under the Centre’s rules is confidential. The extent to which any publicity is granted is entirely within the control of the parties and the arbitrator(s).
- The parties are free to choose their own arbitrator(s) failing which the Centre has a list of panel members who are recommended to each side and who are selected on the basis of their expertise in the area in question. If there is a failure of each side to select an arbitrator(s), under the Centre rules the arbitrator(s) is then appointed by the Centre.
- The Centre has a Panel of commercial arbitrators and mediators who range from judges to senior lawyers, accountants, appraisers, architects and engineers.
- The arbitrator(s) has general jurisdiction over the proceedings, and is not bound by the Rules of Court, to allow the parties to present with equity and fairness their position to the neutral. The arbitrator(s) must decide the dispute in accordance with the law governing the dispute.
- The award of the arbitrator(s) in British Columbia must be made no later than 60 days after the closure of the arbitration hearings thus avoiding delays.
All of the above factors can aid and assist in the preservation of a healthy and continuing commercial relationship between the parties. The proceedings are normally not as adversarial as those found in court and, if counsel approaches the proceedings with the “arbitral spirit” as well as the parties themselves, a continuing relationship is the likely outcome.