Mrs Nania Sackey, a cross-border dispute resolution lawyer has cautioned firms signing contracts to be wary of the content of dispute resolution clauses, saying ineffective clauses were increasingly making arbitration difficult.
She said drafting of arbitration clauses in contract agreements requires circumspection so as to avoid pitfalls in effecting the clauses when disputes arise.
In her presentation at the ongoing Ghana ADR Hub’s seminar on International Arbitration in Kumasi, Mrs Sackey, a Senior Associate at Bentsi-Enchill, Letsa & Ankomah law firm, said often, parties, assisted by lawyers, seem to rush in drafting arbitration agreements in contracts.
Rather, she said “when everything is fine at the beginning, it is the perfect time for the parties to talk over their dispute resolution clause to avoid it becoming a source of dispute in itself when contract disputes arise.”
For instance, she said some arbitration agreements adopt arbitration Centres as venues for arbitration without the parties having an understanding of the rules of those Centres.
Also, she explained that some arbitration agreements choose rules that are inconsistent with industry-specific arbitration regulations as well as the jurisdiction of the parties.
These, she said often lead to unsuccessful enforcement of arbitral awards, the setting aside of arbitral awards by the court, or the setting in of default clauses which come with implications for the parties.
“You haveto be careful what rules you go under to avoid default clause setting in,” she advised lawyers.
The three-day seminar, which is focusing on international arbitration, has the objective of enhancing the capacity of practitioners to overcome challenges in international arbitration.
Dubbed, “A comprehensive course on International Arbitration,” the training, which is being held at the KCCR Conference Centre at KNUST, Kumasi, is conducting a comprehensive examination of the law and practice of international arbitration.
It is being attended by arbitration practitioners, private legal practitioners and in-house counsel interested in improving their ability to represent and advice on the subject of International Arbitration.
By Edmund Mingle/ adrdaily.com