Written by Graham Perry

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

7 January 2024



07 JANUARY 2024


Episode 5 concluded

But Mr Heavyweight, felt that the Chair was over-reacting – after all, he thought, there are occasions when an arbitration can become robust. Maybe, Mr Heavyweight mused to himself, “I should challenge the Chair. I may have been a little heated but isn’t that part of the “rough and tumble” of Dispute Resolution?. He needed time to think it through and the Chair and the Lady agreed to give him time overnight.

An unsettled evening for Mr Heavyweight as he reflected on next steps.

“A good day at the office Dear?” his wife enquired innocently as he walked in from the station – brolly and briefcase in hand. She had a good relationship with her husband – often operating as a counter-weight to his oozing self-confidence.

“I may have over-stepped the mark today” -he admits.

“Tell me all about it” – she instructs rather than asks.

Mr Heavyweight has now lost his bluster and away from the limelight he can be more honest in his self-assessment of his behaviour. And a series of admissions follow;-

“I did intervene, against the Chair’s wishes and asked questions of the advocates during their presentation.”

“I did get tetchy in the retiring room with the other arbitrator – a woman no less” – -he says revealing a chauvinist streak

“And I suppose I have been rather boorish but it is my forceful ways which have led me to progress to become one of the in-demand arbitrators – always with work in hand. Why should I change?”

His wife answers bluntly – “Because this maybe your last appointment, Dear, your last arbitration.”

Mr Heavyweight sits up straight, and struggles to get his words out in a coherent manner.

As his wife continues “It seems to me you may have over-stepped the mark. Time for some humble pie and a dose of mea culpa”.

The suggestion from his wife – his lifelong confidant – that he maybe at fault worries him. That long cherished dream to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary with a luxury cruise to South America in a Club level suite begins to fade as damage to his career comes into view. The work may dry up.

Mr Heavyweight is quiet and reflective especially when his wife reminds him that the arbitrator’s gossip mill will learn of the incident and enjoy hearing of his discomfort. “After all”, she says “Although arbitrators are principled people in the main, the word will get out”

Mr Heavyweight’s bluster has gone. He slumps back into his favourite chair, whisky in hand and realises he has to pull back from the brink. The long term matters.




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