Web Alert: The less obvious benefit of New York's "prompt" arbitration
20 December 2013
Tom Tisdale from Tisdale Law Offices, LLC succesfully assisted a former member in New York arbitration, securing in the process a substantial cost recovery for the club.
The dispute concerned the interpretation of a clause in the governing contract of affreightment which dealt with delays at both loadport and discharge ports in the absence of a cancellation clause. Full details of the dispute are set out in the attached article prepared by Tisdale Law Offices or can be found on their website.
The member demanded prompt arbitration under the New York Society of Maritime Arbitrators' Rules in an effort to resolve the interepretation of the clause in dispute. The benefit of this option is that a panel of seasoned New York arbitrators can hear and decide on an issue in dispute, often within days of the parties' agreement, before an issue escalates and the resultant damages multiply.
The member's demand for prompt arbitration was declined by their opponent. Ultimately the member succesfully defended the claim brought against them but the arbitrators noted that the "arbitration proceedings would not have run the course of some 6 years and would have greatly reduced the substantial and unneccesary expenses incurred by the parties" if the suggestion of prompt arbitration had been accepted.
In the circumstances, the member was awarded a full refund of its legal costs which is a less obvious benefit of New York's "prompt" arbitration.