The well known property chambers of Falcon Court set up earlier this year a formal arbitration scheme. There are more than 20 members of the chambers who are taking part in the scheme, of various levels of seniority.

Property litigators have become increasingly concerned about the delays and uncertainties in the county courts. The county court system was never satisfactory. Property disputes were often tried by Judges who had little knowledge of the relevant law, the administration by the courts was often poor with files regularly getting lost and papers lodged with the court never arriving at the Judge’s desk. One could also wait many weeks or months for a hearing or to receive a document from the court.

Under the government’s austerity programme, the amount paid to the courts for administration has been further reduced and the staffing has been reduced further. Things have only got much worse.

We think that the scheme set up by Falcon Chambers, who are well recognised, will provide a good alternative to the unsatisfactory county court system for dealing with many disputes. They will be faster, and in many cases, cheaper than the courts. There are fixed fees for cases dealt with under an accelerated procedure, under which the fee for a case dealt with on paper by a Senior Junior is £3,000. If the case goes to a hearing last 1 day, is £6,000. Each party will have to pay half, although the likelihood is that the losing party will then have to reimburse the winning party.

They are also aiming to give an award for an arbitration on paper within 20 working days of the arbitration agreement being signed. If there is a hearing, then the award should be within the later of 40 working days or 20 working days from the hearing.

This is much quicker than going to court.

The scheme is dependent on both parties agreeing to take part in it, but firms with experience of property disputes are likely to see the value of this scheme for many types of property dispute.

For information regarding Edwin Coe and the Property and Construction group please visit http://www.edwincoe.com/services/property.asp.


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