It is not always possible for parties to a dispute to agree on an arbitrator, mediator or other expert. In such cases, some commercial agreements allow the President of the New Zealand Law Society to appoint someone to deal with the dispute.
Many standard commercial agreements contain dispute resolution clauses providing that where a dispute arises and the parties cannot agree on an arbitrator or mediator, the President of the local District Law Society will appoint an arbitrator or mediator.
District Law Societies were dissolved at 1 February 2009. The Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006 provides that any reference to the President of a District Law Society is now to be read as referring to the President of the New Zealand Law Society (section 385).
Any agreement which requires the President of a District Law Society to appoint an arbitrator or mediator must therefore now be interpreted as requiring the President of the New Zealand Law Society to make the appointment.
If you are putting a dispute resolution clause into an agreement, you should ensure it refers to the President of the New Zealand Law Society (rather than a District Law Society).
Requests for the appointment of an arbitrator, mediator or other expert (such as a valuer) should be made to:
New Zealand Law
PO Box 5041
If you wish to enclose payment with your letter requesting the appointment, you should include a cheque for the total amount of $437.00 and payable to the New Zealand Law Society.
The Law Society follows a process which provides for both parties to be given the opportunity to suggest possible arbitrators, mediators or experts. To assist the President in making an appropriate appointment, please provide the following information:
While the President will endeavour to appoint a suitable person, the appointment will be made on the basis that neither the President nor the New Zealand Law Society (including its officers and staff) has any legal responsibility or liability in relation to the appointment, or for the charges of the appointee in relation to the appointment, or any other matter which arises from the appointment.
Inquiries or requests for further information may be emailed to email@example.com, or phone (04) 463 2962.