Welcome to the world’s first RPA-mediated facility for the conclusion of arbitration agreements!

sArb – Simplified Arbitration Reference Facility is an innovative ADR-supported platform, built with the help of state-of-the-art Robotic Process Automation (RPA), helping parties to reach valid arbitration agreements where appropriate to their business relationship.

sArb is designed to help businesses bring arbitrable matters under arbitral jurisdiction. It does not require that a dispute exist or be imminent and may be used at any point in the life-cycle of a contract. It can also be used when a dispute has already arisen or is pending.

Agreeing on an arbitral jurisdiction does not mean that arbitration is ‘commenced’ or that a dispute is matured. In fact, after a successful signature process (see below), the parties may well never commence any arbitration at all, but continue running their commercial relationship as smoothly as before.

s-arb.org is a pro bono collaboration between:

BIAC – the Bucharest International Arbitration Court, a modern international arbitral institution with Rules designed to streamline dispute resolution in a cost-effective, business-friendly and reliable manner. You can see their Rules of Arbitration and Fees and Cost Schedule, as well as its Governance and its List of Practitioners at www.bucharestarbitration.org. BIAC generously agreed to act as institutional mediator of the sArb process.

UiPath, leading the fourth industrial revolution by allowing companies to automate repetitive rules-based business processes with the help of software robots. Organizations of all sizes and across all industries are leveraging the UiPath Robotic Process Automation (RPA) platform to increase efficiency and compliance, reduce errors, and drive employee satisfaction.

Consortium Legal, a commercial law and dispute resolution firm based in London and Bucharest, with a focus on innovation and a commitment to good ideas. Consortium Legal designed the sArb process together with UiPath and contributes its legal infrastructure.

Who may find it useful?

Let’s say that Party 1 (the ‘Proposer’) and Party 2 (the ‘Counterparty’) have concluded a contract, and that one of the parties would like to propose that that relationship be made subject to an arbitration agreement. Why would they prefer arbitration? This may be because their contract does not contain a ‘disputes clause’ at all, or perhaps because the existing contractual clause is ‘pathological’ or otherwise no longer appropriate.

For instance, a contract governed by English law may stipulate dispute resolution before UK courts, but, for whatever reason, it may be appropriate to look for more flexible dispute resolution solutions.

To mitigate this uncertainty, arbitration may be preferable. The enforcement of international arbitral awards is facilitated globally by the wide-spread adoption of the New York Arbitration Convention of 1958. Under the New York Arbitration Convention, arbitral awards are easily enforced in over 163 countries, making it one of the most successful multilateral treaties in history. Find out more about the Convention at http://newyorkconvention1958.org/.

Why chose a mediated facility to reach out to the other party? Often, the direct negotiation of an amendment to an ongoing contract, or of a new agreement, is cumbersome or may give rise to unnecessary friction between the parties. sArb can help mediate this process by fronting the ‘first step’ in the communication and ensuring a rule-based, neutral, standardised and fully transparent agreement process.

How it works?

1. Launching the Reference

Party 1 (the Proposer) lodges a unilateral and conditional offer for the conclusion of an arbitration agreement through the sArb website. All it takes is inserting the details about the parties and about the underlying contract into the form below and pressing ‘Submit’.

sArb generates the Arbitration Agreement and organises the taking of signatures via a reliable electronic signature process.

The offer is ‘unilateral and conditional’ because in order for it to become an agreement, the Counterparty must also consent within a stated delay. If there is no consent by the Counterparty within that delay, the offer simply lapses and the process is voided.

2. Automating communication by the BIAC Secretariat

sArb automatically sends out a message to the ‘Counterparty’ describing BIAC and the sArb process and indicating that the Proposer has offered to enter an arbitration agreement by means of sArb. The Counterparty is given the option to also consent by signing onto the Arbitration Agreement in the same manner as the Proposer.

3. Parties’ signatures

All consents will be expressed electronically, online, by secured and reliable document signature systems. The document electronic ‘envelopes’ are circulated to the parties safely and securely.

Nothing stops the parties from signing physical documents and using ‘snail mail’, if they so wish. But the sArb process makes agreement quasi-instantaneous with electronic document signature collection and automated delivery.

4. Reaching the agreement

If the Counterparty agrees and signs within the stated delay, then the system writes back to both parties indicating that the agreement has been reached and that the process is completed. Similarly, if no response is obtained on time, then no agreement ensues, and the process is voided.

That’s it. If the Reference is effective and both parties agree, they may continue their relationship without ever mentioning disputes again. If, however, a dispute arises, the document can be used as evidence of an arbitration agreement.

It is a simple, robust and economical tool designed to facilitate the formation of arbitration agreements. It harnesses insights from other forms of ADR, as well as the power of automation and the ease of electronic document assembly, signature and exchange.

What does it cost? Right now, s-arb.org makes the service completely free of charge. We may in the future be forced to charge something to make sure that the system is sustainable, but until then, it is completely free.

Would you like your contract be made subject to arbitration?

Start by filling-in the form below.

About Party 1 (the Proposer)

About Party 2 (the Counterparty)

About the Contract

All fields are mandatory.