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Britain could become a global leader in arbitration services on par with Singapore and Paris if the UK government's new Arbitration Bill gets passed in the UK parliament. Pixabay

Britain is a step closer to becoming the ultimate global destination for legal dispute resolution courtesy of a new legislation tabled at the UK parliament yesterday.

The UK Ministry of Justice announced today (November 22) that the UK has introduced a new bill to solidify London's reputation as a global leader in arbitration services.

The UK government is trying to make London's arbitration services a more simple, efficient and faster process to resolve legal disputes with the Arbitration Bill.

UK SMEs and businesses will benefit from this as it will allow for faster resolution of legal disputes including family disputes, rental reviews and international contracts and claims made by foreign investors.

This comes at a time when British tech startup TiPJAR won an intellectual property law against Elon Musk's social media company X at a German court which fast-tracked the procedure to solve the legal dispute.

At present British arbitration services are worth over £2.5 billion to the UK economy every year and modernising it will make it on par with competitors like Paris and Singapore. This is just the fees with other charges the valuation is more and the Arbitration Bill seeks to boost that.

This is the first arbitration service in the UK that will be modernised in 26 years.

With the Arbitration Bill in place, UK arbitrators can make UK SMEs and businesses save time and money by settling legal disputes without court visits.

Speaking about the Arbitration Bill, UK Justice Minister Lord Bellamy said: "These much-needed changes will modernise the role of arbitrators and further cement our position as a world leader in the field."

"The UK is a globally-respected hub for legal services, with English and Welsh law the bedrock for the majority of international disputes, and the Arbitration Bill will ensure businesses from around the world continue to come here to resolve their disagreements," Lord Bellamy added.

The Justice Minister further explained why the reform was necessary as countries all over the world have already modernised it, and the UK needs to be ahead of the curve to be a business destination.

For this, the UK government asked the Law Commission to review the Arbitration Act in 2021 and the commission consulted extensively before putting forward recommendations.

Now, the Sunak government has fully accepted the Law Commission's recommendations to make the UK Arbitration services fair and efficient as well as economically beneficial for the country

Proposed changes in the Arbitration Bill

The Law Commission has proposed to strengthen the UK court's powers to support emergency arbitration for fast-track time-sensitive cases like preserving evidence being destroyed.

Other recommendations include more clarity in the arbitration law, simplifying procedures to reduce delays and costs along the protection of arbitrators from lawsuits.

The CEO of Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Catherine Dixon welcomed the UK government's decision to reform the Arbitration Act as a key priority in the UK Parliament.

Dixon revealed how they worked closely with the UK Law Commission to review the 1996 Arbitration Act, saying that they are delighted to see the majority of their recommendations adopted in the Law Commission's report and, subsequently in the Bill.

We are pleased that the UK Government has included legislative reform of the Arbitration Act as a key priority in this Parliament, recognising the importance of arbitration to the UK and globally, as the Act forms the basis of legislation in many other jurisdictions.

The Arbitration Bill tabled at the Parliament yesterday will let UK arbitrators expedite decisions on issues with no real prospect of success and also put the onus on the arbitrators to tell clients about circumstances that could make them impartial.

Furthermore, arbitrators have to point out if agreements are supported by relevant UK laws in England, Wales or Ireland. The Bill will also ensure that the arbitrators don't face the liability for resignations and support them to make impartial decisions.