Scottish bar launches dispute resolution service

Scotland’s Faculty of Advocates has launched a dispute resolution service to provide advice on arbitration, mediation and adjudication.

The group, known as the Faculty of Dispute Resolution (FDRS), is made up of 28 advocates, including 15 QCs, and can be accessed by anyone seeking resolution of a dispute.

According to the FDRS the move is a response to the Arbitration (Scotland) Act 2010 coming into force as well as the promotion by the Scottish Government of arbitration as a means of settling disputes.

A statement about the launch the service pointed to a report by the Business Experts and Law Forum (BELF) as another reason the service has launched, with the report saying that Scotland should market itself internationally as a forum for arbitration.

“The BELF report urged the faculty to encourage advocates with particular expertise to act as arbitrators and to increase the marketability and visibility of Scots lawyers by considering a system of certifying advocates as qualified by experience and knowledge to act in the arena of alternative dispute resolution,” read a statement from FDRS.

The service will be overseen by a board that reports to dean of the faculty Richard Keen QC, a member of Axiom Advocates in Edinburgh and Blackstone Chambers in London who was called to the bar in 1980 and made silk in 1993.

The chairman of the board, Gordon Reid QC, said in a statement: “The training and experience of advocates means they’re ideally placed to act as decision-makers and neutral dispute resolvers. They bring to the process their legal skills, the ability to grasp a complex set of facts quickly, and an approach of professional independence. ”