|Explaining the Process and Costs|
The Arbitration Process
The two phases of the arbitration process.
Equillore has developed a two tier process for sectional title disputes, conciliation and arbitration.
The initial/first step in the process is a conciliation, chaired by a mediator, which is limited to two hours. The mediator will assist the parties in reaching their own settlement. In this phase of the process the mediator may not make any order. In this process he will inform the parties of their legal position, do reality checks with the parties and assist them in exploring different solutions to their problem.
If the parties are not successful in reaching a settlement, but agree that a further conciliation may help them to come to an agreement, they may have a second conciliation (cost R 3950.00). If the parties find a solution a settlement agreement will be drafted by the mediator which will then be signed by both parties. This settlement agreement is enforceable and can be made an arbitrator's award by any one of the parties.
Only if the dispute cannot be settled will the next phase in the process (the arbitration) take place. The parties (if they are in agreement about this) have the option to request the mediator to act the role of an arbitrator and to make an immediate award based on the information he has available to himself at that stage. The advantage of this decision will be that the mediator, now acting in the capacity of an arbitrator, will bring finality to the dispute without the cost and time involved in postponing the matter for arbitration on a date in the future.
If they cannot agree to the mediator making an immediate award, and if it seems clear that no agreement can be reached, the case will be postponed for a full arbitration. At the end of the conciliation phase the mediator records detailed minutes of the decisions made as outlined above, as well as the issues the parties agree upon and the issues remaining in dispute. The dates and responsibilities for the next steps leading up to the arbitration (any further documents or reports to be submitted) are also recorded. The parties will also be assisted in the election of an arbitrator. The cost involved for a full arbitration will be a management fee of R 3000.00 plus the day fee of the arbitrator elected by the parties. (The parties may even elect the mediator that chaired the mediation to be their arbitrator in the arbitration phase) The parties will be provided with the panel of arbitrators which stipulates their level of seniority, the fees they charge, as well as their areas of expertise that serve. They can therefore budget for the expenses they will incur.
The process up to the next date will then be managed by the same CMO, up to the delivery of the arbitrator's award. At the end of the arbitration the arbitrator will make an award that is final and binding. The arbitrator is contracted to deliver his award within 30 days.