Previously, we began looking at the use of compulsory arbitration to resolve contract disputes. Last time, we briefly looked at a dispute in the oil and gas telecommunications sector in which the parties will be making use of arbitration at the end of next month.
It remains to be seen how the dispute will fare in arbitration, but one of the details that comes through in looking at some of the facts of the case is that contract disputes can get complicated very quickly. Because of this, it is important for parties to work with an arbitration who understands the principles of contract interpretation, and ideally an arbitration who understands the industry out of which the dispute arises.
Selection of an arbitrator depends on the terms of the agreement, and on the organization managing the arbitration process. In some cases, one party will have the ability to select the arbitrator, while other cases require mutual agreement. In selecting an arbitrator, it is important to not only pay attention to the arbitrator’s training, background and character, but–again–also to his or her knowledge of the relevant industry.
Oil and gas contracts, just like contracts in other industries, involve unique considerations when it comes to disputes. An experienced arbitrator with knowledge in this area can help ensure parties get the best possible hearing on the facts and circumstances of the case so that the best possible decision can be rendered. For businesses participating in the arbitration process and negotiating agreements, working with experienced legal counsel helps ensure their rights are protected.