Penningtons' dispute resolution team recently concluded a dispute using another alternative to litigation through the courts. In this case, the client purchased some antique Chinese porcelain from a dealer in London. Some years later - but within the six year limitation period for claims of breach of contract - he was advised that it was worth much less than he had paid.
It would have been difficult and costly to bring a claim through the courts because this would have involved producing evidence from an expert to the judge. However, the porcelain dealer's trade association (the British Antiques Dealers' Association) provides an arbitration service assessing certain categories of claims against members. This service is speedy and free to those bringing the claim.
The dealer was initially reluctant to agree to arbitration and we had to issue proceedings to stop the limitation period expiring. However, he was eventually persuaded and the arbitration panel ruled in our favour. The purchase price was re-paid. This is a good example of how solutions can be tailored to the particular problem faced by a client.