An arbitrator, trained in the areas of arbitration and its relevant laws, is selected by the disputing parties for his/her knowledge and expertise relating to the subject of the dispute. The arbitrator reviews the evidence and arguments of each party in order to reach a decision that is binding on both parties. Either party may involve legal counsel, witnesses or other representation.
Arbitration can offer several advantages as an alternative to litigation:
- Flexibility – The form and type of arbitration can be tailored to suit the parties.
- Speed – The process can be started and resolved quickly, without waiting for court dates. Discoveries and preliminary processes are kept to a minimum.
- Efficient – Although the parties must pay the costs of the arbitration, it is often more efficient than litigation in the courts.
- Confidential – With few exceptions, proceedings take place in private and awards are not published without the consent of the parties.
- Voluntary – Arbitration takes place only by the parties’ mutual consent. This consent may be given when the parties enter a contract, or later when the dispute arises.
- Final – The arbitrator’s decision is final and binding, and court appeals are rare.