CIArb Business Arbitration

Author: Alice Morrissey

The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) has launched a new Business Arbitration Scheme (BAS) which aims to provide a simple and cost-effective form of arbitration for claims in the region of £5,000 to £100,000 in value.  The CIArb is a non-profit membership organisation whose focus is on providing alternative dispute resolution services and training to those engaged in legal disputes.  In a time of spiralling court fees and protracted proceedings, the BAS aims to cut the costs and delays often associated with other dispute resolution mechanisms.

To commence the BAS process, each party must pay a fixed fee of £1,250 plus VAT which covers administrative costs and the fees of the arbitrator.  An arbitrator is then appointed by the chairperson of the applicant’s local branch of the CIArb within ten days of commencement of the arbitration.  The process results in a legally binding outcome to the dispute in less than 90 days from the appointment of the arbitrator.

One of the key attractions to users of the CIArb’s BAS is the limit of £1,000 on legal fees which are recoverable from or by the other party to the dispute. A party can incur greater costs if it so desires, but it will not be able to recover them from the losing party. The process has been designed to be navigable without the need for extensive legal representation, if indeed any legal representation is required at all.  This is good news for businesses engaged in low value disputes with limited time and legal budgets.

Alice Morrissey, Associate, Fladgate LLP (

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