The Association has published details of a new Early Neutral Evaluation (ENE) scheme to stand alongside its popular and extremely successful arbitration service.
ENE is a form of alternative dispute resolution in which an independent and impartial evaluator is appointed to provide parties with a non-binding assessment of their dispute. Its objective is to give them a realistic indication of the merits of their respective cases to help inform negotiations between them and, if the evaluator considers it appropriate, to put forward a figure or range for settlement.
While LMAA arbitration in London remains the world leader in maritime dispute resolution by some distance and as popular as ever, the LMAA recognises that many parties seek ways to resolve their disputes at an early stage in order to operate their contracts sensibly and preserve their commercial relationships. In doing so they may also save valuable management time and legal expense. The LMAA ENE scheme helps to address this need. It offers the terms of a proforma ENE agreement between the parties and an evaluator which can be adapted to the particular requirements of any case. That agreement can also be adopted for use in chain or otherwise related disputes involving more than two parties.
Announcing the new scheme, LMAA President David Steward said “LMAA arbitrators’ skills and experience make them particularly well suited to the sort of objective evaluation that can help parties in settling their differences. Our new scheme, together with the recent constitution of a Disputes Board panel, reflects the aim of the LMAA to provide a broad suite of dispute resolution procedures.”
ENE features also in the newly announced BIMCO Mediation/Alternative Dispute Resolution Clause 2021.
The guidelines, together with the proforma agreement can be found on the LMAA website: