In every contract and charter party agreement; one of the most important clauses is the dispute resolution or arbitration clause. Currently the the clause mentions that parties should first seek to resolve their dispute by mediation firstly then if that fails by arbitration. Mediation is a voluntary process where the parties endeavour to resolve their differences. It is a powerful tool, facilitated by a third party who has no stake in the outcome or the issues and who is trained to help those involved to gain an understanding of what matters and to explore possibilities which may be difficult for them to discuss face to face in classic negotiation. This can be particularly important when the parties have worked together for a number of years and wish to continue working together in the future such as a shipbuilder versus an owner or an owner versus a drydock.
Other clauses specify Arbitration which was devised to overcome some of the problems encountered in litigation but like mediation it’s prime advantage is that the parties can pick their arbitrator or arbitrators who have a good understanding of the industry and a commercial background one such expert is the well known and much respected Mr. Ken McLean former MD of Poseidon Maritime, Aberdeen and CEO of the Bahamas Maritime Authority who is now practicing as a Maritime Mediator and Arbitrator under the industry leading dispute resolution body the London Marine Arbitrators Association terms and conditions. Ken has vast experience of the shipping industry as Chief Engineer together with extensive experience in the offshore sector, project management of FPSO conversions, new buildings and ship management.
Ken said: ” there is an increasing use of mediation in dispute resolution and parties who are interested in settlement can be facilitated through the process to come to workable solutions. This has the advantage for the parties of being quicker with consequent savings in costs. My technical background also allows me to understand the extensive submissions that parties make in arbitration, whilst my commercial experience and practical pragmatic approach enables me to work with the parties to ensure that the arbitration process, is adequately managed to control costs and counter the criticism that arbitration proceedings are becoming drawn out and expensive.”
Viewers can log on www.mmaa.uk.com for th Maritime Mediator and Arbitrator