By Neil Wood – Group Managing Director Global Credit Solutions Limited
The increasing use of mediation and aribitration to resolve disputes between organisations from multiple countries, and the subsequent failure of some arbitration rulings involving very large sums of money, is leading to an increasing number of cases being placed with investigation companies with an international reach and capability.
Arbitration as a process can allow disputing parties a forum to have their arguments heard and do so normally at a much lower cost, and far more quickly than the traditional courts, and as result had led to more disputes going before arbitration panels for a ruling.
The best know of the mediators and aribitrators In Australia is the Institute of Mediators & Arbitrators (IAMA) formed in 1975 with its national office located in Melbourne Victoria, and chapters in each of the States and Territories.
The Institute provides a wide range of publications to its members as well as training for those wishing to obtain an education and accreditation as mediators and or arbitrators., with courses held in the capital cities of Australia. It also provides articles and interviews to the media on subject matters relevant to mediation as a way of educating the public at large.
For example the mediators course offers a practice-oriented qualification in mediation and participants who successfully complete the assessment module may apply for accreditation under the National Mediator Accreditation Scheme through IAMA.
The Institute of Arbitrators & Mediators Australia (IAMA) invites registrations for its national mediation course, and with mediation being adopted widely across the commercial, legal, industry, education and government sectors, an understanding of the practical application of mediation techniques is an important and useful professional skill.
The investigation professions in Australia, as well as across the Asia Pacific region, has started to have an increasing role in the arbitration process by providing evidence to support or dispose of arguments being put before an arbitrator.
Since the start of 2010 GCS Australia is conducting three major multiple jurisdictions investigations into the location of assets within Australia and several Asian countries, with a view to locating assets that can be used to settle the award handed down by the respective arbitration panels.
With these cases comprising a total amount exceeding US$150 million, the need for the party winning the award to be able to locate and execute against the assets is patently clear, and we believe the large increase in the number of cases proceeing to arbitration will in turn continue to add to an increasing number of investigations through the year ahead, and well into 2011.