• Arbitration and alternative dispute resolution

Disputes do not invariably have to be resolved during interminable legal proceedings before the regular courts; it may be preferable to assess the possibility of alternatives.

Mediation or binding opinion

In some cases, interests other than the issues brought up during the actual proceedings are involved, or a dispute may centre around one fundamental point of dissension. A mediator or third party charged with giving a binding opinion can help in finding out any underlying interests that may be involved. After this independent third party has given a recommendation, the parties in dispute can then resume discussions on an amicable solution. This is often a quick and inexpensive way of resolving issues.


Arbitration proceedings are generally administered through an arbitration institute and the rules can often be adjusted to suit the parties’ own wishes. Arbitration is a good option if you would like a say in the expertise of persons giving an opinion on your dispute. It can also be a suitable option if a confidential matter has to be resolved. Arbitration is generally an efficient and safe procedure anyway, particularly in international issues. It is a major advantage that an arbitral award can be executed in most countries.

Arbitration clauses

In some cases there is no choice; arbitration may be laid down in contracts as the sole manner of resolving disputes. Arbitration clauses can be found in almost every imaginable type of contract. For example, the concept of arbitration is completely entrenched in the construction sector, which is due in part to the Dutch Court of Arbitration for the Building Industry and the Architectural Arbitration Institute. In addition, arbitration is commonly used to resolve disputes in the commodity trade sector, and this sector has its own arbitration institutes such as NOFOTA (Netherlands Oils, Fats and Oilseeds Trade Association) and the Royal Dutch Grain and Feed Trade Association. There is also a specific arbitration institute for disputes in the IT sector known as SGOA (Foundation for the Resolution of IT Disputes).

Ploum can provide you with legal assistance

At Ploum, our specialists can advise you on the options for avoiding legal proceedings before the regular court and making the best possible use of alternative dispute resolution. We have a great deal of experience in this respect; not only in relation to commercial disputes, but also to disputes pertaining to construction law, insurance law and corporate law.

More information

Rutger Ploum

M +31 6 2269 3315
E r.ploum@ploum.nl

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