Written by Graham Perry

Graham Perry M.A. Cantab FCIArb Experienced Arbitration Lawyer | China & Chinese Business Affairs | Public Speaker/Lecturer

19 July 2022


Anger, outbursts, bad language, insults, exasperation, fury, rage, temper.

It’s life. It happens. People meet a bursting point and burst. Less likely in arbitration + more likely in mediation. No matter, dispute resolvers need to be ready to handle. Let’s start with the more likely scenario – a neighbours dispute. But it could be a personnel issue in a media company or even a grain company with career jealousies interlinked with an undisclosed affair. The focus is on anger and human beings can and do explode.

So what does the arbitrator do? How does the male/female Chair handle an explosion? Let’s imagine the following – a Tribunal of 3 – female chair, male wingers. The commercial background is a long running dispute between a trader and a broker over unpaid fees. The parties have agreed to an ad hoc arbitration according to English Law – delightfully vague. No arbitration rules as such but you are guided by the 1996 English Arbitration Act. Both sides are represented by advocates of their choice. A sub-plot is that the two advocates are not “mates” or even “colleagues” – they do not get on. There is history and an antagonistic relationship.

The Parties, also, are not the best of friends and that is apparent from the contemporary emails – full of what lawyers call “robust language”. The lawyers representing the two parties are well known to each other and both take a detached view of the obvious animosities – that in itself is not a guarantee of good behaviour in the Hearing room but, as you have agreed that Lawyers can be present as observers, it is a restraining element.

The Tribunal discuss the case before the hearing – the issues in dispute and the tensions between the two sides. They realise that there is a main plot and a sub plot and they mentally prepare themselves for aggravation.

EPISODE 2 – 20 JULY 2022




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