How to choose the right arbitrator and win

Selecting the right arbitrator can be a challenge if you don’t have the right insider information. Here are a few tips to overcome the knowledge barrier and choose representation that more closely suits your needs.
Let’s first dive into the major difference between arbitration and litigation. In arbitration, parties participate in the selection of the Tribunal. The great advantage of an arbitration is the freedom for all parties to choose their arbitrators regardless of the Tribunal time frame. There is no recourse of a Tribunal decision, therefore selecting a Tribunal that truly understands your case is of vital importance.
An arbitration is a relatively expedited process and isn’t required to adhere to strict rules. This is why a good arbitrator can create a cost-effective process.We have expanded on the guidelines to ensure that our clients follow four simple rules in choosing an arbitrator.

1. Arbitrators should be available for your case, and not swamped with work

Choosing a candidate with a reasonable caseload is vital, and this can be discovered simply by asking if your potential arbitrator can devote the necessary time to your specific case or nominate another arbitrator with a more available schedule.
Most successful arbitrators are booked months in advance. You want to avoid the potential of conflicted scheduling, as this could result in a hasty arbitration without the resolution you require.
Some cases however are spread across a longer time frame, enabling you to hire an experienced arbitrator with a heavier case load. It may be wise to hire an arbitrator with a positive track record even if the dispute takes more time to resolve.

2. Hire an arbitrator with the right expertise

It’s important to choose an arbitrator with experience and familiarity in your case jurisdiction or that reflects the nature of the dispute. If your dispute demands a technical background of any kind, it would be best to choose an arbitrator that matches that type of expertise. The same can be said for different industries your case may be touch upon. Your arbitrator should have no problem discussing industry compliance.A fancy legal education isn’t the only thing you need in arbitrator. It won’t matter if there isn’t enough familiarity in the case.

3. Strong management skills are a must

Choose an arbitrator with strong management skills who understands how to leverage the arbitration process and turn it into an advantage. This requires a keen familiarity with procedural rules, the absence of which can lead to protracted disagreements between parties. This can cause a major delay with the entire arbitration process and incur unnecessary costs. Things to look out for are whether your candidate is comfortable working across multiple jurisdictions, systems, and various processes. This would encompass a candidate with a good judicial demeanor.

4. Word of mouth is highly valuable, say experts at Octo Fund.

Consult your legal friends and ask for a list of references. Your top five candidates will usually surface from that list. Make sure that you are industry sensitive when approaching candidates. It’s also advisable to approach legal counsel for recommendations, as many firms keep an extensive list of arbitrators. Another good source is consulting professional networks for dispute resolution including the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
For more insights on arbitration, consult experts at Octo Fund.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.