To ensure a fair arbitration process, arbitrators must be impartial and independent. Usually, the contract between the parties governing the arbitration will set out the process to be followed in selecting and appointing arbitrators either specifically or by reference to the procedures of an arbitral institution. In the absence of such direction, the appointment process will follow applicable law or will in certain cases be derived from industry practice.
For parties new to dispute resolution through arbitration, there are many factors to consider when selecting and appointing an arbitrator. Whilst law firms can assist, parties may also wish to look outside arbitration law firms in the course of their search for an arbitrator to find the right blend of legal expertise, arbitration experience and industry knowledge. Some key points to consider when appointing an arbitrator are briefly set out below.
Whilst an arbitrator need not be formally legally qualified, it is advisable that an arbitrator have a legal background and/or experience of dispute resolution through arbitration. This is because arbitrators are usually required to consider the law applicable to the evidence and facts of the case submitted as well as to formally rationalise their final award. Equally, if the matter in dispute is an international commercial transaction then the dispute may be governed by a different law to that of the jurisdiction in which the dispute is seated. This means that the arbitrator to be selected should be able to adjudicate questions of comparative law, conflicts of laws and statutory interpretation.
Generally, it will also be beneficial to select an arbitrator who possesses professional knowledge of the industry related to the dispute. This is particularly true in cases involving intellectual property or maritime issues or for example when the dispute is limited solely to a question of valuation.
A legal background and professional expertise are two key factors to consider in selecting an arbitrator. In addition, the arbitrator’s availability, communicative style, managerial skills, and ethical conduct should also be considered.
As described in ‘Arbitration Law Firms in Dubai‘ whilst there are of course law firms in Dubai and in the region which specialise in litigation and alternative dispute resolution through arbitration who have arbitration lawyers who accept appointment as arbitrators, parties should be aware that arbitration law firms are not the only resource for parties seeking to appoint an arbitrator.
Bolz Arbitration is able to offer parties independent, professional and tailored arbitration advice and support to individuals and companies involved in arbitration’s in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Bolz Arbitration specializes in the resolution of corporate, commercial, property, real estate and construction disputes through arbitration. Anja Bolz can act either as an arbitrator or can assist parties as their representative in arbitrations in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Arbitration parties seeking an experienced representative or wishing to appoint an independent arbitrator are invited to visit www.bolzarbitration.com for more details.