Questions for potential arbitrators
Produced in partnership with Ben Giaretta of Mishcon de Reya
Questions for potential arbitrators

The following Arbitration guidance note Produced in partnership with Ben Giaretta of Mishcon de Reya provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Questions for potential arbitrators
  • The information gap
  • Resources collecting information on arbitrators
  • Questions to ask potential arbitrators
  • The perils of too little information
  • The value of answers—any answers

This Practice Note considers the purpose and value in obtaining information on potential arbitrators. It sets out possible questions to consider asking potential candidates and details on the means by which such information may be gathered, such as arbitration questionnaires and resources that collate data on arbitrators. It considers the drawbacks, such as confirmatory bias, that may arise due to the use of pre-arbitration questions.

The information gap

Arbitration within small industry groups and geographical locations has its advantages. Everyone knows who the arbitrators are. People generally know how the arbitrators approach cases, and what they respond to.

As arbitration has expanded, however, an information deficit has been created. Parties may not know arbitrators in other countries; and, with a greater number of cases, they may not encounter on a regular basis the arbitrators that they do know. One result of this is that the same group of international arbitrators, who are well-known, are appointed again and again, creating problems in terms of availability of those arbitrators, and arbitrator diversity.

Resources collecting information on arbitrators

Efforts to deal with this information deficit have adopted two approaches in gathering:

  1. objective information

  2. subjective information

Objective information

Objective information may be gathered in relation to potential arbitrators, in particular:

  1. the number of cases in which they have sat as arbitrator

  2. any arbitration qualifications they