CIArb’s Dispute Appointment Service has received its first request for the appointment of an arbitrator under the IMPRESS Arbitration Scheme.
The scheme was first launched as a pilot in 2014, in response to recommendations in Sir Brian Leveson's November 2012 report. Sir Brian recommended the establishment of an arbitration service to offer affordable access to justice, to counter the high legal costs of adversarial media litigation. In this spirit, IMPRESS and CIArb joined forces to pilot an arbitration scheme and accompanying rules to solve civil disputes between a claimant and a participating publisher in the areas of defamation, breach of confidence, misuse of private information, malicious falsehood, and harassment.
The scheme’s rules were later revised at the beginning of 2016, with the aim of simplifying the process to allow greater flexibility and ease of use by unrepresented parties, in what will be mostly low value claims. A cap on the arbitrator’s fees and the amount to be awarded was also introduced.
Under the scheme, CIArb’s Dispute Appointment Service (DAS) acts as the appointing body. A suitable Arbitrator is to be identified from the scheme’s specialist Panel of Arbitrators, comprising Fellows of the Institute experienced in both arbitration and media law. The panel presently consists of the following six individuals.
Jane Mulcahy QC is a barrister at Blackstone Chambers in London. She was called to the bar in 1995 and appointed as silk in 2014. Jane acts in disputes concerning reputational issues, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and undue influence. Jane has taught Media Law to undergraduate journalists at City University and was herself a journalist before coming to the bar.
Malcolm Holmes QC is an international arbitrator and lawyer at 20 Essex Street Chambers. He was appointed QC in 1991. Malcolm has significant media law experience particularly in defamation.
Clive Thorne is solicitor and arbitrator in intellectual property and media law. He is Special Counsel at Baker Botts law firm. Clive has significant experience handling claims for copyright infringement, passing off, defamation, malicious falsehood, breach of confidence and breach of contract.
Chris Ryan is an experienced lawyer with a background in intellectual property, including confidential information, malicious falsehood and defamation. Since 2004, Chris has sat as a part time judge in the First Tier Tribunal (Information Rights). The Tribunal decides appeals from decisions on freedom of information by the Information Commissioner.
Ian Ridd was called to the bar in 1975 and is a barrister at Farrar’s Building in London. Ian is a commercial and civil law practitioner with a broadly based practice in commercial litigation and arbitration, defamation, privacy, employment, professional negligence and professional disciplinary and regulatory work.
Gerald Simpson QC was called to the Inner Bar in 1999. He has significant media law experience. He has acted for media organisations including the BBC and Independent News and Media (NI) in defamation, data protection, and misuse of private information matters.
The most recent addition to the Panel, Jane Mulcahy QC, said:
I am delighted to be appointed to the IMPRESS arbitration panel. In my experience, arbitration can offer an effective route to resolve legal disputes. It works well in other industries and through the IMPRESS scheme it can now work well for news publishing.
A copy of the schemes rules, and an accompanying Guidance Note for Parties, can be found here.
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