1. Definitions "We" or "Us" or "our" means the London Arbitration Centre Limited a Company registered in England under No.8945377.
"Consumer" means an individual acting for purposes which are wholly or mainly outside that individual s trade, business, craft or profession;
"Trader" means a person acting for purposes relating to that person's trade, business, craft or profession, whether acting personally or through an other person acting in the trader s name or on the trader s behalf.
"ADR Official" is an adjudicator engaged by us to determine any dispute and will be a practising Solicitor/Barrister in England or Wales.
2. These rules constitute a contract between Us, the Trader and the Consumer under which we agree to provide to the Consumer dispute resolution services to the Consumer and the Trader against whom a claim is made.
2.1 The Trader is responsible for paying our fees for the services we provide.
2.2. We will appoint an ADR official who will adjudicate on the dispute between the Consumer and Trader referred to us in accordance with our rules of procedure or any directions made by the ADR official in the course of the adjudication.
3. The parties to these proceedings are not obliged to retain a lawyer or a legal advisor, but they may seek independent advice or be represented or assisted by a third party at any stage of the procedure. We will not, however, communicate with any party's legal advisor without written authorisation by the party whom they represent.
4. The language of the proceedings shall be conducted in English and the only language in which we will accept an initial complaint.
5. The timetabling for the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) for Consumer disputes and any directions orders of ADR Official shall be binding on the parties and shall constitute part of the rules of procedure.
6. The dispute shall be resolved in accordance with the laws of England and Wales. We will also take into consideration; rules of equity, codes of conduct issued by professional bodies with whom the Trader may be registered and similar fact determinations by any competent Court, tribunal or other ADR entity.
7. The Consumer must complete and send to us a claim form before the ADR procedure can commence. The Response by the Trader shall be in writing and should clearly make reference to the document being the Response to the claim form.
8. Mandatory grounds upon which must refuse to deal with a dispute are as follows;-
(a)prior to submitting the complaint to Us, the Consumer has not attempted to contact the Trader concerned in order to discuss the consumer s complaint and sought, as a first step, to resolve the matter directly with the trader;
(b) the dispute is in the opinion of the ADR Official frivolous or vexatious;
(c) the dispute is being, or has been previously, considered by another ADR entity or by a court;
(d) the Consumer has not submitted the complaint to Us within a 12 months of the final deadlock letter from the Trader;
(e) We are of the opinion that dealing with such a type of dispute would seriously impair the effective operation of the London Arbitration Centre.
(f) If one of the parties has sought to deliberately mislead us on a matter relating to the existence or non-existence of one of the grounds for refusing to deal with the dispute, we retain the right to immediately refuse to deal with the dispute.
9. The Parties will be required to file the claim, Response or reply in writing. We will conduct the ADR using a written procedure. The ADR official will make his determination according to the written evidence before him/her. A hearing with the parties in attendance will not be held except if the ADR official deems it necessary. Where an ADR official deems a hearing necessary, the procedure at the hearing will be determined by the ADR official and may be conducted by telephone or other media available to both parties.
10. During the review period (see stage 3 of the Procedural timetable), we will provide a party to a dispute within a reasonable period of time, with the arguments, evidence, documents and facts put forward by the other party to the dispute, including a statement made, or opinion given, by an expert.
11. We will ensure that the parties may, within 14 days, comment on the information and documents provided under rule 10 above.
12. Where a request is made under rule 10 above, the ADR Official may make any consequential case management directions or make alterations to the procedural timetable. If the case is complex, resolution of the claim may go beyond 70 days.
13. The decision of the ADR Officer is binding upon the Trader and the Consumer. The parties will be notified by the ADR Official of the outcome of the ADR procedure in writing and will provide a statement of the grounds' on which the outcome is based. A copy of the decision will be emailed to the parties or their legal advisors (where such have been retained).
14. The decision of the ADR Official may be registered as an Order of the High Court in England & Wales and thereafter may be enforced as an Order of the Court under the Arbitration Act 1996.
15. The ADR Official may in his/her discretion make an award of the costs incurred by the Consumer in making or bringing the claim but will not include the cost of any legal representation.
16. The Consumer may withdraw from the procedure at any time.