Turn to arbitration and slash costs, town halls told
Local authorities could save 95% of the typical cost of taking cases to court by turning to specialist arbitration, according to a not-for-profit organisation providing such services.
The London-based Centre for Justice said public bodies are losing up to 10% of their budgets annually in handling complaints and disputes through the courts, and that an alternative approach could cut these losses. It estimates it saved the London borough of Havering £240,000 in resolving three cases. The cases, which were all resolved within two months, involved sums ranging from £20,000 to more than £4m.
Centre director Anthony Hurndall said: ‘Our form of arbitration does not rely on an adversarial approach to arrive at a result.
‘Our trained arbitrators deal directly with the parties and usually achieve an amicable settlement without the need for a formal award. If the parties are unable to agree a result, the dispute is decided by the assessor and the outcome is legally binding,’ he said.
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