Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is Arbitration?

A. Arbitration is a smart way to resolve disputes when negotiation or informal conferences have not have been able to come to a resolution. It is also the logical next step following a mediation where not all the issues were agreed.

Arbitration is a dispute resolution process that is similar to a mini trial in Court, where people in conflict agree to refer the final decision to a mutually respected independent third party – the Arbitrator.

Q How long does Arbitration take?

A. The parties decide when the Arbitration process begins. At SHAW Arbitration, we have a nationwide network of experienced and qualified Arbitrators with legal experience, who can accommodate a time that suits both parties. Unlike going to court, there is no wait period with Arbitration, once the hearing is held the Arbitral Award is handed down in 28 days.

Q. What areas do you provide Arbitration in?

Family Law Property Settlement


Federal Law

Q. How much does Arbitration cost?

A. Arbitration with SHAW Dispute Resolution is charged at a fixed fee following the preliminary planning meeting where it is decided the process of how the arbitration will take place and therefore determines the price.

Q. How does Arbitration process work?

A. Step 1 – Filing and Initiation. An Arbitration case begins when one party submits a Request for Arbitration to SHAW DR.

The other party (the respondent) is notified by the Dispute Resolution Co-ordinator at SHAW DR and a deadline is set for response.

Step 2 – Arbitrator Selection. SHAW DR works with the parties to identify and select an Arbitrator based on the criteria determined by the parties.

Step 3 – Preliminary Hearing. The Arbitrator conducts a preliminary hearing with the parties and their lawyers, to discuss the issues in the case and procedural matters, such as witnesses, evidence, sharing information and other matters including the timing and total cost of the Arbitration.

An Agreement to Arbitrate is signed to confirm everyone’s commitment to the process.

Step 4 – Information Exchange and Preparation. The lawyers and their clients then prepare for the hearing and exchange information and documentation as discussed and agreed or ordered at the preliminary hearing.

Step 5 – Hearing. At the hearing before the Arbitrator, both parties may present evidence to the Arbitrator as agreed. Unless the case is complex and there are more than the 2 parties as witnesses, this is the only hearing before the Arbitrator. Following the evidence, the lawyers make final submissions and answer questions from the Arbitrator.

Step 6 – Post-Hearing Submissions. After the hearing, both parties may present additional documentation, as allowed by the Arbitrator.

Step 7 – The Award. Finally the Arbitrator closes the record on the case and writes a decision and publishes the award within 28 days. Q. Do I still need a lawyer if I use an Arbitrator? A. Yes, our Arbitration process assumes that each party is lawyer assisted, this provides both parties with the best opportunity for each party to make legal decisions on the Arbitration process.

Q. When is it appropriate to use Arbitration?


● If you have business to get on with and want a faster decision.

● Before you have mountains of paper work clouding the real issues to be decided.

● Before litigation is issued and most facts can be agreed.

● Because you would rather take the risk of an arbitrator deciding than expecting the other person to ever agree anything.

● When the other side is unreasonable or irrational.

● Once you realise in mediation that everything is agreed but for a couple of topis that will never be agreed.

● If the lawyers are not recommending or supportive of mediation for whatever reason.

● If you wish to avoid media attention and publicity.

● If you feel uncomfortable, embarrassed or humiliated by public court proceedings.

● While waiting for your hearing, your judge, your lawyer, your day in court. Maybe you won’t need it?

● After court proceedings have been issued. Arbitration can run in parallel to determine interlocutory issues including discovery and the relevance or other use of evidence to keep the court proceedings on track and progressing without further delays.

Let’s Decide!

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Alison Shaw of SHAW Mediation successfully mediated a contract and building works dispute for one of our clients.  I found the mediation to be useful in requiring the disputing parties to be in one place at one time, allowing each side to express their position (and even vent their frustrations) whilst being kept in line by an experienced mediator. It was by no means certain to me beforehand that the matter would resolve at the mediation, but Alison’s guidance and systematic approach facilitated a commercial settlement.  I am confident the parties would not have reached a better outcome if they had gone to court.  I rate highly the mediation process used by Alison Shaw in this matter, and would recommend her to other clients considering mediation in the future.

Matthew Hawke

Cowell Clarke