Can we have a private word.

Written by Graham Perry

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

23 February 2022


About nine months ago, you are on a one-day training event about freight rates + future market trends. It is well attended; the programme is well organised; the location is good + you, active in the freight market, are networking well. You are approached by someone in the trade that you know quite well. “Can we have a private word? I want to run something across you.” You agree + later that afternoon, you are sitting in the saloon bar listening to ‘Someone’ relay his tale of woe.

He tells you it is not his matter but that of a friend but you think the explanation is a cover for the fact that he is in trouble. No names are mentioned but things are not quite right. ‘Someone’ is in difficulty. You listen and then give your observations. Shortly after, ‘Someone’ changes careers, slip out of contact + moves abroad.

Your arbitration career develops + you are acquiring a reputation for being a safe pair of hands. But trade hits a bump + work in progress slows to a trickle. Overheads are not so easy to reduce + you feel a squeeze. At about this time you receive a phone call from an arbitration body enquiring if you will accept an appointment as a Sole Arbitrator. You ask for details of the parties to make sure you are not conflicted. All is OK. You accept.

You are pleased. After all, it is always good to receive a Sole Arbitrator appointment from an appointing body. It is a reflection of your good standing in the trade. You are feeling pleased with yourself + not a little happy as well because the appointment comes in the middle of a downturn and will boost your flagging income.




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