disputes mediated







Colloquially described as “private judging”, arbitration is an alternative form of dispute resolution where the parties agree to a suitably qualified individual adjudicating their dispute in private and making an award by which they will be bound.

This is in contrast to a mediation, where the mediator endeavours to assist the parties in reaching a settlement, but cannot make a decision as to the appropriate outcome. Arbitration involves the arbitrator producing a decision (an award) at the conclusion of the process.

The Arbitrators’ decision is binding on the parties and they can be obliged to apply to the court for an order in the same or similar terms, which can then be enforced by the court.

Prior to making his award, the arbitrator will receive evidence and consider submissions, typically (although not always) in the course of a hearing which generally will follow the lines of a court hearing.


Arbitration offers the following advantages:

1 Choice of arbitrator: the parties can select who will decide their dispute, and can therefore secure a specialist who has the appropriate experience (not always the case with a judge allocated by the court); the same arbitrator will also be available to deal with all stages of the case, from start to finish (rarely possible even where a case is allocated a specialist judge).

2 Speed: subject to the arbitrator’s availability, the timetable is up to the parties, and not dependent on when the court is able to list the case.

3 Flexibility: the parties can define the scope of the arbitration and how it should be carried out; and so, the arbitration may extend to all the parties’ differences or may be limited to only one or two discrete issues; it can involve a hearing or, if the parties prefer, it can be completed on paper.

4 Cost: although the parties have to pay the arbitrator’s fees and expenses, the shorter timetable and the procedural flexibility will generally result in reduced legal costs.

5 Confidentiality: there is no opportunity for the media or any other outside party to be in attendance at any hearing; in arbitration everything is completely private.

The following are trained and accredited in dispute mediation.

David Balcombe QC
Timothy Bergin
Rachael Claridge
Jane Peckham
Eleanor Battie