Do I need Legal Representation in Arbitration?
It is extremely important that everyone entering into arbitration understands exactly what they are taking on.In other words, to be clear that everyone understands that Arbitration is legally binding.
You need to know what you are signing up for
There are many benefits to arbitration. These include speed, flexibility and potential cost savings. Arbitration is not however a soft option.
It is therefore strongly recommended that each party takes legal advice before entering into the arbitration agreement ARB1CS.
This is to make sure that the parties understand the implications and effect of the arbitration process and of the Determination.
When signing the ARB1CS, the parties are also asked to confirm that they have read and understand the rules of the arbitration scheme.
Legal advice will also help the parties understand that they must follow the procedure set down by the Arbitrator – and if they do not, they could be cost penalties or a determination could be made simply on the other person’s information – if they decide to opt out.
On signing the Form ARB1CS parties are asked to confirm that they have been advised as the nature and effect of the arbitration agreement.
Representation at the Arbitration Hearing can be more effective
Because Arbitration has some similarities with court proceedings, being represented by a lawyer may be the most effective way to present a case and legal arguments.
Representation is not compulsory
But ultimately, the answer is: No – a party entering arbitration does not need a lawyer to represent them.
Many cases may be suitable for a paper arbitration. With a paper arbitration, the arbitrator makes the determination based on the written statements of the parties. There is no hearing.
With a paper arbitration the risk of proceeding without legal assistance is that the written statements will not be focused on the issues that are being determined. Bringing in irrelevant issues or issues in an unfocused way may undermine that parties case.
Assistance for parties without legal representation
We are very conscious that the cost of legal representation can be very expensive and is not affordable for everyone.
For clients choosing to arbitrate through our arbitration service, we will supply templates for statements.
This is to assist clients presenting their information in a similar way and which is focused on the issues between them and the factors that the Arbitrator will need to take into account when making their determination.