Bahrain centre resolves 24 trade disputes
Manama, January 16, 2013
An international arbitration centre based in Bahrain resolved around 24 cases with a combined value of BD79 million ($208.4 million) last year, a report said.
It brings the total number of claims handled by the Bahrain Chamber for Dispute Resolution to 71 since its creation in 2010, according to the report published by our sister newspaper, the Gulf Daily News.
Settlements worth just under BD500 million have been reached during that time, including BD238 million in 2011 and around BD181 million in 2010.
Most cases from last year came from the financial sector, either banks or insurance companies based in Bahrain and abroad, said Bahrain Chamber for Dispute Resolution (BCDR)-American Arbitration Association (AAA) chief executive James MacPherson.
BCDR-AAA chief registrar and assistant chief executive officer for arbitration Ahmed Hussain said majority of the claimants were Bahrainis followed by Saudis, Australians, Kuwaitis and Americans.
"If we look at figures of the cases dealt by BCDR, it was 13 cases in 2010, followed by 34 in 2011 and 24 last year," he said during a Press conference held at the BCDR-AAA headquarters in Diplomatic Area.
Hussain said majority of the cases were solved while others were still in the process as experts' help was required.
He stressed there was no timeframe in dealing with each case, but officials ensured through mediation fast results could be achieved.
Officials said the drop in the number of cases did not mean there were less disputes, but showed that issues were being solved by companies before they reach the BCDR.
MacPherson said the BCDR-AAA would focus on Islamic finance and family business in the GCC this year.
"There are many family businesses in the GCC if it is not related to oil and gas sector," he said. "This type of business has its own unique challenges such as succession from the first generation and related issues."
MacPherson said the chamber provided mediation and arbitration solutions for rapid and commercial disputes including its free arbitration zone, which saves time compared to similar cases dealt by Bahrain courts.
"We provide mandatory alternative dispute resolution and work closely with the government of Bahrain and several ministries," he said.
Statutory ADR tribunals are disputes involving either financial institutions licensed by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) or international commercial institutions where the contested sum exceeds BD500,000.
Such claims are automatically taken up by the BCDR-AAA, rather than the courts.
Mediation is said to solve 80 per cent of disputes. – TradeArabia News Service