Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How many years has the CIArb been in existence?
  2. In how many countries does the CIArb operate?
  3. How many members does the CIArb have?
  4. Who are the key officers of the CIArb?
  5. What is the turnover of the CIArb?
  6. ADR Services?
  7. What are the major achievements of the Institute?
  8. How does arbitration differ from other forms of dispute resolution?

Q: How many years has the CIArb been in existence?

The Institute was founded as the Institute of Arbitrators on 1st March 1915.

It was granted a Royal Charter in 1979. Charters are reserved for professional institutions and charities working in the public interest, which represent a field of activity that is unique and not covered by any other professional body. The Institute is a charity and is the only membership body that covers the entire range of dispute resolution processes on a global basis. As a learned body the Institute has demonstrated pre-eminence, stability and permanence in private dispute resolution.

Significant changes to the Institute's governing structure have resulted from the new Charter and Bye-laws granted in 2005, which reflect the need to represent the Institute�s worldwide membership. The Institute's objective as set out in the Charter is to promote and facilitate worldwide the determination of disputes by arbitration and alternative means of dispute resolution

Q: In how many countries does the CIArb operate?

There are 12,000 members over 108 countries and 35 branches throughout the world. This includes 14 branches across the UK, a branch in Australia, three branches in Europe, three branches in East Asia, three branches in Africa, five branches in the Middle East and Indian sub-continent, and two branches in the Americas.

Q: How many members does the CIArb have?

Just over 12,000.

Q: Who are the key officers of the CIArb?

The Board of Trustees conducts and manages all of the Institute's business and affairs, and exercises all its powers, authorities and discretions. The Board of Management is responsible for the routine management of the affairs of the Institute and the scrutiny and supervision of the work of the Secretariat. Various Committees advise on the development of policy in a range of different areas. Committee members are drawn from among an international pool of the Institutes members and other volunteers with the most appropriate qualities and expertise. The governing structure set out by the Charter means that the voice of the Institute's Committee members in the governance and management of the institute is representative, not only of the global membership but also of the various disciplines of private dispute resolution.

All of the corporate functions of the Institute are managed on a day-to-day basis by the Director General, Michael Forbes Smith. He is assisted in this by the Director of Membership & Marketing: Nicki Alvey,
the Director of Legal Services: Tony Marks, the Director of Research & Development: Aaron Hudson-Tyreman and a Director of Finance & Administration, plus all the other members of the Secretariat based in London.

In order to represent the Institute around the world there are two ambassadorial officers: the President, Joe Behan and the Patron, Professor Dr Karl-Heinz Backstiegel.

Q: What is the turnover of the CIArb?

Almost £4.25 million. About half the income is from subscriptions; the remainder comes from training courses, the fees from our commercial and consumer arbitration schemes, and income from hearing room facilities.

Q: ADR Services?

The Institute's trading arm, IDRS operates dispute resolution services for the settling of disputes between subscribers to each service and their customers.

Since 1994 there have been over 20,000 appointments to resolve consumer and commercial disputes where our members have been used as arbitrators. DRS-CIArb administers over 100 business-to-consumer and business-to-business dispute resolution schemes including:

  • Arbitration service for the Travel industry (ABTA) members and clients
  • British Association of Removers
  • Communications & Internet Services Adjudication Scheme (CISAS)
  • Commercial Arbitration Scheme
  • Communications Providers ADR Service
  • Construction Adjudication
  • Cost controlled mediation, arbitration and early neutral evaluation
  • Funeral Arbitration Scheme
  • Legal Services Commission Arbitration Scheme
  • National House Building Council
  • Rapid Personal Injury
  • Surveyors & Valuers Arbitration scheme

Q: What are the major achievements of the Institute?

Setting a global standard (Chartered Arbitrator) as the benchmark of professional standards and training. Parties come to the Institute knowing they will be working with professionals at the highest standards of practise in dispute resolution.

Offering education and training throughout the world. Recent courses have been in Portland, Oregon, Hong Kong and Ghana.

Q: How does arbitration differ from other forms of dispute resolution?

Arbitration is faster, cheaper and simpler than litigation and has two major advantages. The results are completely confidential which means in commercial disputes the trading relationship can continue. Arbitration awards are enforceable in any of the 140 countries that have ratified the 1958 New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.

Arbitration is similar to litigation in that a third party makes a binding decision and increasingly other forms of dispute resolution such as mediation and conciliation are becoming popular because of the control they offer parties and their non-binding character.