Costs in Arbitration Proceedings and Tribunals
Costs in Arbitration Proceedings and Tribunals
You are working in-house for a firm of Solicitors in Holborn and Westminster. One of the firm’s Assistant Solicitors, Berenice Duval, has been encouraged by her team leader (a Senior Partner)
to branch out into Arbitration work; this has been brought about because Miss Duval recently won a construction case on a novel point of law and it attracted a certain amount of attention in the specialist press. Following on from this the Senior Partner believes it would be a good career move for Miss Duval, and an interesting new direction for the firm, if she were to set aside one day per week to sit as an Arbitrator. She has allocated Fridays for this purpose.
Whilst construction law is her specialist area, having practised since qualifying at the age of 24, Miss Duval has never previously presided over a case; she has always argued them (and generally speaking has had the benefit of Counsel in doing so). As such, she needs your assistance with the following questions:
1. Miss Duval is considering making an award in favour of Booter Construction Limited in arbitration against Kwik Kuts Supermarket Limited. She is minded to order Kwik Kuts to pay Booter’s costs and direct that she should undertake the assessment of those costs. She would like
a memo from you explaining how she might best approach the procedures for the assessment
of costs, and particularly wishes to know how the provisions of the Arbitration Act 1996 affect this situation
2. In another Arbitration, the losing party, Skinner Technical Limited, has stated that Miss Duval may not assess the costs herself, as Arbitrator, but must refer the matter to a Court. Luckily this happened at half-past four on Friday; before she resumes the Arbitration next Friday, Miss Duval needs your guidance on whether there is any truth in this statement, and in what circumstances the assessment must go to Court
3. Miss Duval is used to dealing with parties who have secured the services of expensive legal teams, but in the same Arbitration, Skinner Technical Limited is appearing by its CEO Mr. Barry Skinner, a self-made man who, according to his Company’s accounts, could well afford legal representation but chooses to appear in person. Leaving aside the fact that this may be a factor in Skinner Technical Limited losing the Arbitration, a throwaway remark was made by Mr. Skinner at the conclusion of Friday’s hearing to the effect that “You’ll never see a penny of it anyway!” As such, as well as the assessment point above, Miss Duval wants advice from you upon how an Arbitration Award is enforced, so that she can tell Mr Skinner in no uncertain terms, what will result if he does not pay up.
4. Mr. Skinner also made several rather pointed remarks about having a young, female Arbitrator, stating that she did not know what she was talking about and that he was going to overturn her Award. Miss Duval is forty and has been practising in Construction Law her whole career, so she is completely unaffected by his rude remarks. However, just to set her own mind at rest, she would like your advice upon the circumstances in which an Arbitrator’s Award may be challenged
5. Miss Duval has taken on a case on behalf of her brother, Mr. Dominic Duval. He has been working in Facilities Management for an electronics firm but they have recently changed his role and he now finds himself answering the telephone, mopping out the toilets and doing other menial tasks at the whim of the Office Manager. He suspects that they are trying to drive him out and he wishes to claim Constructive Dismissal in the Employment Tribunal. Miss Duval is happy to assist him with this case; although it is out of her area of expertise she is confident that she can read up on it and he has not been able to find anyone else who is prepared to take it on as he is not in funds to pay for advice being somewhat impecunious. Miss Duval is, however, concerned lest a Costs Order may be made against her brother, and wishes to have your advice upon the circumstances in which such an Order may be made, and whether it is likely to happen here.
Your advice in Part 1 needs to be fairly detailed (1,000 words). Your advice in Parts 2 and 3 may be by way of a summary, but any relevant law should be cited appropriately and in particular you should address the particular situation in which Miss Duval has found herself. Parts 4 and 5 again require a higher degree of detail and should be 500 words each.
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