There are certain fundamentals at the outset of the arbitration process:-

There is no more important decision at the commencement of an arbitration than the choice of the Arbitral Panel. As Jean Flavien Lalive rightly stated the “arbitration is only as good as the arbitrators”.

Although good intellect is essential, the role of an arbitrator is also a practical one so that the arbitration is conducted fairly and efficiently and in a timely manner.

Before appointing an Arbitrator a party should seek to gain the best information about the ability, experience and availability of every candidate for the arbitral appointment.

To that end, the appointing party should make the fullest enquiries about every arbitral candidate and obtain the best knowledge available about him or her.

Further to that end, every arbitral candidate should be willing to identify articles, which he or she has written, produce sanitised copies of earlier Awards which he or she has issued, name other arbitrators with whom he or she has sat, and make himself or herself available for interview.

In choosing the Arbitrator the crucial test should go to the quality of the arbitral candidate as an arbitrator. Experience of different types of arbitration and of different legal systems and procedures is also important. All experienced arbitrators are familiar with analysing and deciding complex issues of fact and law whether or not such issues of fact and law have previously been before them.