Your correspondent David Kirwan refers to a universal problem: that of judges hearing interlocutory applications who have not had the opportunity to read the court file, or skeleton arguments, or late-filed evidence.

He rightly expresses concern at the adverse impact on justice which this causes. That is a problem which is unlikely to occur if the parties have chosen to arbitrate rather than litigate their dispute. An arbitrator is appointed either at the parties’ own choice or by a professional body such as the Law Society. As the parties’ bespoke tribunal, he will surely make time to prepare himself for hearings. He will also be looking for ways to streamline the procedure for resolution in the most efficient way.

In arbitration, the parties will also avoid the requirement to guess at (or ‘budget’) the likely costs, and the dangers inherent in that process.

Adrian Heale, solicitor and chartered arbitrator