Arbitration in Scotland

Arbitration has long played an important role in settling disputes in Scotland and as a result, Scotland has its own body of highly developed arbitration law.

On 7 June 2010, all provisions of the Arbitration (Scotland) Act 2010 came into force. The Act brings Scotland into the forefront of modern arbitral law and practice. The Act represents the most significant development in the history of the Scots Law on Arbitration and one of the most significant development in Scots Commercial Law in recent times.

The Scottish courts have always recognised the right of parties to agree to exclude the jurisdiction of the courts to inquire into the merits of their disputes and instead to refer any disputes to arbitration. This fundamental doctrine of Scots arbitration law was never more succinctly or better put than by the eminent judge Lord Dunedin in 1922.

"...the apply or not to apply the arbitration clause in its discretion never was the right of the court in Scotland. If the parties have contracted to arbitrate, to arbitration they must go."

The Scottish courts though remain free to pronounce a judgement in conformity with the arbitrator's award. Equally, should the arbitration from any cause prove abortive, the full jurisdiction of the court will revive, to the effect of enabling the court to hear and determine the dispute on its merits.

Of course this is just a taste of the favourable background to conducting arbitration in Scotland. Why not have a look at The Scottish Arbitration Rules which form Schedule 1 to the Arbitration (Scotland) Act 2010 to see what detailed framework is available to those conducting arbitrations in Scotland.

The Branch has also developed its own Scottish Short Form Rules. These sit alongside the Arbitration (Scotland) Act 2010, and were created to assist with claims under £25,000. Notwithstanding this suggested cap, parties can of course also agree these rules apply where the claim, or counterclaim, exceeds £25,000. A copy of the Scottish Short Form Rules can be found at the link below.

Chairman's Panel of Arbitrators

David Anderson
Derek Auchie
Gordon Bathgate
Len Bunton
Hew Dundas
Norman Fiddes
William J Frain-Bell
Shona Frame
Chris Mackay
Donny Mackinnon
Janey Milligan
John Nicolson
David R Parratt
Lindy Patterson

Those who seek appointment to the Panel require to meet the Criteria for selection to the Panel of Arbitrators and to complete the Application Form for selection.

The criteria comprise a set of prior conditions, and criteria for selection.

Those already on the Branch Panels should note the limit of tenure provisions and the transitional provisions.

Arbitrator Selection

If you require the selection of an arbitrator we can assist. Please print off and complete the application form and send it, along with your cheque for GBP 250.000 + VAT made payable to The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Scottish Branch) or CIArb (Scottish Branch).

Please note that an application cannot be processed until we are in receipt of the application fee and the fee is not refundable if you subsequently withdraw your application.

The form and payment should be sent to the following address:

Chiara Pieri
Honorary Secretary and Treasurer
Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Scottish Branch)
1 Exchange Crescent
Conference Square

T: +44 (0)131 473 5182
F: +44 (0)131 228 1222