Equity Arbitration and net-ARB
A Fairer Alternative
e've seen that courtrooms and traditional arbitration forums are often not the best way to resolve international disputes, especially when the parties don't have a big budget for travel and legal fees.
Think back to the unpaid graphic designer. Let's say he is located in Pakistan and his client is in France. He does not have the money to pay a French lawyer, and even though he feels he is owed a great deal of money, the amount is actually less than the cost of an international arbitration firm. He also faces the cost of fighting about preliminary issues like which law will apply, and he may have to travel to a distant city for the arbitration hearing.
He deserves to be paid, but the cost of legal justice is just too high. For him, equitable arbitration may be the answer.
Equity arbitration is based on principles that make sense around the world, rather than on the specific laws of any one country, state or territory. That means there are no battles over where the case should be heard or whose law should apply.
Equity arbitration relies on both equitable ideals and universal common law principles that have developed through the years. For example, a valid contract requires that one party made an offer, the other accepted it, and something of value was exchanged. If the parties never reached an agreement, there is no contract – no matter what part of the world you live in.
In equitable arbitration, the arbitrator doesn't have to follow legal technicalities or enforce parts of a contract that don't make sense. The arbitrator can ignore certain terms that would make the outcome unfair if they were strictly enforced. The arbitrator's authority to do this has been upheld by courts, including the California Supreme Court.
Like tribal elders, kings and early chancery judges, equity arbitrators can rely on principles of fairness, their experience, and good old fashioned common sense to reach a result that is both fair and reasonable – without getting bogged down in details that aren't really part of the dispute.
At net-ARB, all of our arbitrations are based on equity. We have been conducting equity arbitrations since 2005 because we believe that it is the best way to ensure fair results and access to justice for everyone.