April 2020

Disputes during COVID-19: Arbitration as an alternative to litigation

  • Our consultants, as former judges and experienced arbitrators can act as arbitrators now and resolve arbitral disputes referred to them.

  • Our team of lawyers can help move your matter to a resolution by acting as counsel in arbitrations.

Why choose arbitration?

Whilst the courts remain closed during the COVID-19 crisis, arbitration is available to parties throughout this period and provides a practical, attractive alternative method to advance disputes.

Advantages include: 

  1. Virtual hearings – Arbitration is readily available through the use of technology. The process can take place entirely by virtual means, with hearings being held by videoconference and electronic submission of documents.
  2. Flexibility – Court hearings take place under a fixed set of rules and processes. The use of Arbitration may provide for less formality and the parties can agree to a particular process for dealing with their dispute. Arbitration proceedings are often less formal than court procedures. 
  3. Efficiency– Court matters can take months, even years if there is an appeal, to reach a conclusion. Given the backlog of cases likely to follow the pandemic, together with the fact it remains unforeseeable when the courts will resume as normal, using the process of arbitration can continue matters effectively and potentially accelerate the process of resolution during this time.  Our arbitrators are also more readily available when compared to public Judges, who will be challenged by the effect of the pandemic on the court’s operations.
  4. Privacy– Clients can achieve a private resolution to their dispute through the use of Arbitration, unlike general litigation which takes place in open court.
  5. Cost-effective– Parties using Arbitration may potentially save costs during this time as disputes may be dealt with through the use of electronic documentation rather than physical hard copy documents. Parties to an Arbitration may also agree to the award of costs whereas in court, the judge decides the award of costs.

Our Arbitrators

We have two competent arbitrators at Lennox Paton, who have extensive experience in adjudicating disputes in different forums. They are well acquainted with applying various procedures and rules to disputes as the parties to an arbitration may require.

David Hayton, LL.D. Cantab

David provides legal opinions, litigation support and acts as an expert witness in Trust Law and Arbitration.

He is a Bencher of Lincoln’s Inn and served as a Recorder (part-time) 1983-2005 in London and as an Acting Supreme Court Judge in Nassau for periods in 2000 and 2001 before becoming a full-time Judge of the Caribbean Court of Justice in Trinidad from 2005 – 2019. Since 2015 he has been a part-time Judge on The Court for Trusts and Fiduciary Relations in the Republic of San Marino, Italy.

David has contributed over 50 papers to learned journals and authored or edited sixteen books in the area of trusts (including Underhill & Hayton, Law of Trusts & Trustees), property, succession and tax.  He is thus arguably the leading authority in the United Kingdom and Europe on trust law. 

Lorris Ganpatsingh

Lorris is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and has been involved in numerous arbitrations. He has adjudicated on many important local and international decisions, including:

  • Oracle Fund Ltd v. Fortis Fund Services
  • Grupo Torras S.A. v. Al-Sabah (Trustee of)
  • Central Bank of Ecuador, Globe-X Canadiana Ltd
  • Samuel Knowles v. Commissioner of Police

Having worked in the profession for over 40 years, Lorris has a wealth of experience in Dispute Resolution. He sat on the Bahamian Court of Appeal for eight years and prior to this was a Supreme Court Judge in The Bahamas. He also served as Justice of the High Court of Guyana for 12 years.

Our Lawyers

In addition to our arbitrators, our lawyers can assist in resolving any disputes which may be resolved through arbitration and can advise on negotiation strategies and capitalize on the strengths and weaknesses in the dispute.

For enquiries relating to arbitration in The Bahamas, please contact Brian Simms QC.

For enquiries relating to arbitration in the British Virgin Islands, please contact Scott Cruickshank (BVI).