Faculty of Advocates launches personal injury arbitration service with online portal
The service will enable people to settle personal injury claims outside a court setting
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The Faculty of Advocates is to launch a personal injury arbitration service from next month.
The service will allow the parties to settle disputes out of court, with benefits including cost, speed, confidentiality and more flexibility in terms of location and choice of decision makers than a court case.
The Faculty of Advocates – the professional body for all advocates in Scotland – already operates an arbitration service, Faculty of Advocates Arbitration, through which it provides arbitration services in areas including commercial, family and agricultural law.
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From September 2017, the arbitration service will operate through a portal on the Faculty of Advocates website, where all the necessary material to begin arbitrations will be available to download.
And from 2018, it will be possible to conduct most of the process online through a dedicated platform.
The Faculty of Advocates will also supply arbitrators who are qualified to decide these disputes.
It is expected that by the end of the year around 40 advocates and QCs will be qualified to be appointed as personal injury arbitrators, having completed a specialist arbitration course leading to membership of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
An additional service will be the appointment of such arbitrators, via the new appointment service, which will be chaired by former Court of Session Senator Lord Eassie.
The aim is to position the Faculty of Advocates, and by extension Scotland, as a centre of international excellence in arbitration.
Gordon Jackson QC, Dean of the Faculty of Advocates, said: “In terms of the new personal injury service, this is about extending consumer choice for people seeking compensation.
“It puts a new product in the marketplace, delivered by advocates who are qualified experts in the field of arbitration and personal injury claims.
“It is a genuine alternative to litigation. It is designed with the client in mind and is for the benefit of anyone who wants a faster, more flexible, less expensive route to justice.”
Professor David Parratt, Convener of Faculty of Advocates Arbitration, added: “Members of faculty have invested heavily in making themselves knowledgeable and qualified in arbitration practice and procedure, and are ready to participate in the service both as counsel and, importantly, as arbitrators.
“The combination of these members’ skills and this faculty innovation promises new approaches to resolving personal injury claims.”
The Scottish Government’s Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs Annabelle Ewing welcomed the faculty’s “new and innovative approach” of alternative dispute resolution.
She said: “This encouraging development has the potential to increase choice for clients, for whom litigation may not always be the right option.
“It will also widen access to justice in the field of personal injury claims.”
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