Arbitration—an introduction to the key features of arbitration
Produced in partnership with Simmons & Simmons

The following Arbitration practice note produced in partnership with Simmons & Simmons provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Arbitration—an introduction to the key features of arbitration
  • Party autonomy and procedural flexibility
  • Choice of seat or forum
  • Choice of decision makers—the arbitral tribunal
  • Privity and joinder
  • Separability of the arbitration agreement
  • Confidentiality and privacy in arbitration
  • Expedited arbitration procedures and the rise in sole arbitrators
  • Enforceability of arbitral awards

Arbitration—an introduction to the key features of arbitration

This Practice Note provides an introduction to arbitration and its key features, with a particular focus on arbitration under the law of England and Wales, including the Arbitration Act 1996 (AA 1996).

Arbitration is a form of final and binding dispute resolution presided over by an appointed arbitral tribunal (one or three arbitrators, typically) acting in a quasi-judicial manner. Arbitration is, generally speaking, founded on party agreement (the arbitration agreement), and regulated and enforced by national law and national courts. In choosing arbitration, parties opt for a private dispute resolution procedure instead of litigating in court. The result of an arbitration is, usually, an arbitral award, which is a final, binding and enforceable (as against the losing party or parties) decision on the dispute submitted for determination (and akin to a court judgment). Arbitral awards are subject to limited rights of challenge or appeal on either standalone bases or as defences to recognition and enforcement.

International commercial arbitration is considered by the international business community to be a true, and often preferable, alternative to resolving commercial disputes by going to court, particularly as arbitral awards are highly enforceable globally due to the success of the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (the New York Convention).

To be clear, arbitration is not the same as mediation, which

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