White SW Computer Law
Intellectual Property, Information Technology & Telecommunications Lawyers
Melbourne Office - PO Box 452, COLLINS STREET WEST Victoria 8007 Australia
Sydney Office - GPO Box 2506, SYDNEY New South Wales 2001 Australia
Telephone: Melbourne Office - +61 3 9629 3709 Sydney Office - +61 2 9233 2600
Facsimile: Melbourne Office - +61 3 9629 3217 Sydney Office - +61 2 9233 3044
Email: wcl@computerlaw.com.au Internet: http://www.computerlaw.com.au

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Alternative Dispute Resolution

What is Arbitration?

Arbitration is a formal dispute resolution process, which is governed by legislation.

Arbitration is more flexible than litigation in that the processes followed can be tailored to the dispute, based on the size and complexity of the dispute.

An independent party (the arbitrator) with skills in the disputed area is appointed to determine the dispute.

The decision of the arbitrator, known as an Award, is enforceable in a similar way to a Court order and is binding on both parties

Awards are more effective than Court judgments in that they may be enforced globally, whereas Court judgments in many cases cannot be transferred from country to country.

What steps should be taken?

Before a dispute arises

  • Nominate arbitration as the preferred dispute resolution procedure at the time of entering into your contract. You may also wish to nominate your preferred arbitrator.

After a dispute arises

  • Select an arbitrator with expertise in the subject matter of the dispute, if you have not specified a particular arbitrator in your agreement.
  • Attend a preliminary conference with the parties and arbitrator to agree on the procedural steps for the arbitration.
  • Conduct the arbitration
  • Arbitrator notifies the parties of the award (decision)
  • Parties comply with the arbitrator's award or Parties enforce award in the Courts in the appropriate country (if required).

Nominate your preferred arbitrator

Our Technology and Intellectual Property Arbitrator is Steve White. Steve holds legal and computer science qualifications and is a Fellow of the Australian Computer Society. Steve has worked in the computer industry for over 20 years.

What is mediation?

Mediation is a consent based dispute method where the parties meet together with a third party called a mediator who assists the parties to reach their own settlement. Unlike arbitration, in which the arbitrator makes a binding decision, mediation does not result in an enforceable decision being made by the mediator. Unless the parties come to an agreement, the dispute is not resolved.

Mediation is often ordered by the Court in an attempt to settle a dispute before trial, with the aim of saving the parties time and money by finalising the dispute sooner rather than later.

You can also agree with parties you are in dispute with to have a mediation at any time both before or during litigation.

You may want to include a mediation clause in your agreements so that if a dispute arises, the parties agree to attend a mediation before any litigation is commenced.

Because a mediator does not make a binding decision, the parties may be more open and frank in their discussions, which in turn may assist in the settlement process

What are the advantages of mediation?

  • It potentially reduces the time and costs of resolving a dispute.
  • It provides all parties with an opportunity to voice their views and hear the other parties’ views in a brief and efficient manner.
  • It allows the parties to have greater control over the procedure to be followed and the timings involved as compared with litigation.
  • The relationships between the parties need not be destroyed and the parties may be more agreeable to continue working together following resolution of the dispute.
  • The mediation process is confidential. The dispute is not heard in public and any documents prepared or statements made for the mediation process are not able to be used as evidence in any subsequent litigation.
  • The parties will usually have a chance to speak to the mediator in private, away from the other parties involved in the dispute so that confidential information can be disclosed to the mediator (such as desired dollar amounts for settlement). That information will not be disclosed to the other parties without permission, but may assist the mediator in encouraging settlement proposals from the other parties.

More Information

We offer our arbitration and mediation services through our affiliated firm - Technology Arbitrators, Expert Determiners and Mediators.

Technology Arbitrators, Expert Determiners and Mediators' standard arbitration agreement and fees can be found at arbitrator.com.au

Technology Arbitrators, Expert Determiners and Mediators' standard mediation agreement and fees can be found at mediator.com.au

  © White SW Computer Law 1994-2016. ABN 94 669 684 644. All Rights Reserved.
  Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation
  This website is a guide only and should not be used as a substitute for proper legal advice.
  Readers should make their own enquiries and seek appropriate legal advice.
  For legal advice please email wcl@computerlaw.com.au