Hedgehog (pun on Harrison and "herison", French for hedgehog)

Trevor Harrison
Email: trevor@trevor-harrison.com
Tel: +44 (0)1892 861690
Skype: trevorkh

Hedgehog (pun on Harrison and "herison", the French word for hedgehog)



In the world of shipping and international trade, most standard form contracts, including charterparties, provide for disputes to be resolved by arbitration rather than court proceedings. The contract will usually specify a place for the arbitration, for example London or New York and may include other provisions in respect of rules or how the arbitrators are to be appointed.

It is also possible for parties that are in dispute to agree to resolve their differences by way of an ad hoc or one-off, arbitration even where there is no provision for arbitration in the contract.

Most arbitrations will be before either a sole arbitrator or a tribunal of three; they can be conducted entirely on paper by way of written pleadings, submissions and witness statements or there can also be oral hearings which are sometimes almost indistinguishable from court proceedings in the way that people behave and matters are handled.

I am willing to accept appointments either as sole arbitrator or as a member of a tribunal. Please contact me by email or telephone

Unless otherwise expressly agreed, appointments will be on LMAA terms.

Further information on the practice or arbitration may be found on the Chartered Institue of Arbitrators' website and more information about maritme arbitration, particularly in London, on the London Maritime Arbitrators' Association website and in Singapore on the Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration website.


Some Observations on Arbitration Versus Litigation


An arbitration award is enforceable in more countries than a court judgment.

Arbitration can take place anywhere. Where the parties are from different countries, it can be preferable for the dispute to be heard in an independent country to avoid any suggestion that a local court or tribunal might be biased towards one of the parties.

Theoretically arbitration can be quicker and more flexible and therefore cheaper although it is often the case that busy arbitrators can take as long to publish an award as a judge to give judgment.

Parties can have the freedom to choose their arbitrators; this gives them the opportunity to appoint people who have particular expertise or experience in the subject matter of the dispute. Many maritime contracts specify that arbitrators shall be "commercial men".

Rights of appeal from an arbitration award are usually limited or even excluded completely.

Arbitration proceedings are usually conducted in private.


There is no real equivalent in arbitration to summary judgment so where the need to be able to act swiftly is of high importance, litigation can be more effective.

Because an arbitration is a consensual process arising from an agreement, it is not possible to compel a third party to participate; this means that in a chain of contracts, disputes between the various parties, arising from the same facts, can be decided differently, resulting in serious injustice to some of the parties.


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© Trevor Harrison 2017