Barrister

Expertise because the parties choose a specialist arbitrator (someone specialised within that particular area) they do not need to spend time ‘educating’ the judge in the technical considerations underlying the dispute. Privacy  in the UK, arbitration is private and the arbitrator’s award is published only to the parties in the dispute. In commercial disputes companies may well prefer not to ‘wash their dirty linen in public’. In other countries, such as the USA, arbitration awards are made public. Court proceedings are not only entirely open to the public in almost all jurisdictions, but reports of all law cases are routinely published in detail. (e.g. Lloyd’s List Law Reports). Finality in litigation there is an appeals procedure, ultimately to the House of Lords. In arbitration, the award is final and binding, except in very exceptional circumstances. Notwithstanding the above, the arbitration system does have its own formality and delays. There has been an increasing tendency for the parties to involve lawyers and if one party decides to use a solicitor and a barrister (attorney and advocate) then the other party will feel at a disadvantage if he does not do the same. This makes for a longer and more expensive procedure. Furthermore, arbitration does not have the speediness which it once enjoyed because the acknowledged experts in shipping matters have very full diaries. Almost every country has some form of arbitration as part of its ‘judicial package’ and many of the recognised ‘maritime nations’ have a dedicated group specialising in arbitration for the shipping community. In London the controlling body is the London Maritime Arbitrators Association (LMAA) whilst in New York it is the Society of Maritime Arbitrators (SMA).