In answer to the letter from MD Joyce (NCE last week) and Is Arbitration working? (NCE 19 July 2001), arbitration is little more than litigation at the parties' expense.
Under the relatively new Civil Procedure Rules, the courts encourage the parties to resolve disputes by other means before the formal proceedings bring costs out of proportion to the sums in dispute - little difference to arbitration.
The introduction of adjudication has resulted in a dramatic fall in the number of cases in the Technology and Construction Court and I suspect there has been a similar fall in the number of cases referred to Arbitration.
Arbitration went wrong when it was highjacked by arbitrators who wanted to act like High Court judges. Anyone who has experienced both litigation and arbitration will be able to relate to this fact.
As an adjudicator, solicitor and civil engineer, I want adjudication to work as Parliament intended it to work.
If adjudication is highjacked in the way that arbitration has been, the advantages of adjudication will be eroded.
Andrew Worby (F), TLT Solicitors, Bush House, 72 Prince Street, Bristol, BS99 7JZ