The COVID-19 measures taken by the Courts in British Columbia and Canada have caused unique challenges for resolving disputes. With little to no access to courts at this time for most kinds of disputes, parties that wish to move their litigation forward are forced to look at alternatives.
Arbitration is such an alternative. It provides parties with a customizable, flexible, efficient, and confidential way of resolving all or part of a dispute in these exceptional times.
For disputes that have already been started in the court system, parties can choose to use arbitration to resolve the entirety of their dispute or, as importantly, they can use it to resolve only a portion of their dispute. Put another way, parties need not opt out of the court system completely, but can choose, in these times, to use a “private judge” for aspects of their disputes that would normally have gone before the courts. For example, parties are currently unable to bring procedural, interlocutory or summary procedure matters into chambers at this time. This has caused some litigation to stall in a way that is contrary to the business interests of both parties. These kinds of matters could be dealt with by an arbitrator, leaving the main dispute in the court system
Because of the flexibility of arbitration and the ability to employ technology, the arbitration process can be designed on a case by case basis to accommodate the various restrictions caused by the Covid-crisis and the new working arrangements clients and lawyers have find themselves in. Hearings can be done in writing or video conference.
The lawyers at NST have a broad range of experience acting both as counsel and arbitrators (neutrals). As a litigation boutique without the conflict problems of big firms, the lawyers at NST have the experience and skill sets to act as arbitrators. We are available to answer any questions you may have about taking advantage of this alternative in these trying times.