CIArb News

CIArb awarded contract as the Arbitration Referral Service for the Pubs Code Adjudicator (PCA)

01 Dec 2021

We are delighted to announce that CIArb has been awarded the contract to be the sole provider of Arbitration Referral Services to the Pubs Code Adjudicator (PCA). This will include full end-to-end management and administration of the arbitration service and recommending suitable CIArb-accredited arbitrators to the PCA for appointment in each eligible case under the terms of the Pubs Code. In addition, we will be working with the PCA to develop specialist Pubs Code training for arbitrators and others to ensure they are equipped with the knowledge required to handle PCA arbitrations.

The Pubs Code came into effect in 2016 and regulates the relationship between all pub companies owning 500 or more tied pubs in England and Wales and their tied tenants. The PCA is responsible for enforcing the Code, and handling any disputes referred to them for arbitration. As one of their independent recommending bodies, CIArb already has extensive experience over several years of handling PCA referrals. As the new Arbitration Referral Service Provider, we will continue to uphold the benefits of arbitration for parties in dispute, drawing on the extensive specialist expertise of CIArb members.

From Monday 13th December, any new referrals for arbitration made under the Pubs Code should be sent to the CIArb Dispute Appointment Service (DAS) team using the email pca@ciarb.org. Existing cases will continue to proceed as normal and no action is required from the parties in those cases. We encourage those Pubs Code Arbitrators who are not already CIArb members and are interested in continuing to be eligible for Pubs Code appointments to contact the DAS team at pca@ciarb.org to learn more about the criteria for becoming a CIArb member and joining our Presidential Panel.

Any queries regarding those cases can be directed to the DAS team using the above email.

Catherine Dixon, CIArb Director-General:

“I am delighted that CIArb has been awarded the Arbitration Referral Service for the Pubs Code Adjudicator contract as a sole provider. It is a testament to the quality of CIArb’s accreditation and of the service provided by CIArb’s Disputes Appointment Service. We are committed to promoting arbitration as a means for effectively resolving disputes, and this contract demonstrates the excellence of CIArb’s panel and recognises CIArb as setting the standard for service delivery”.

Lewis Johnston, CIArb Assistant Director for Policy and External Affairs:

“This is a fantastic development and reflects the esteem in which CIArb-accredited arbitrators are held. We are delighted to have been chosen as the provider of this service and look forward to working with the PCA to maintain the highest quality standards of delivery. We also look forward to expanding the pool of arbitrators on our Presidential Panel from which we draw when making recommendations to the PCA for appointment.”

Fiona Dickie, Pubs Code Adjudicator:

“This is a major development in how we operate allowing even greater focus by the PCA team on our regulatory agenda to ensure compliance with the Pubs Code. As an accredited body with experience of handling recommendations of Pubs Code arbitrators for appointment by the PCA, CIArb is well placed to ensure referrals are efficiently managed.

“Another significant initiative is the enhancement of Code training for arbitrators. This may also be valuable for others in the industry with an interest in the Pubs Code.

“Information from arbitrations is useful to understand how the Code is working in practice. As regulator, I will continue to receive arbitration documents in line with the arbitrator standards. So, I will still be watching for non-compliance by regulated pub-companies and where the PCA can provide further clarity to the industry on applying the Code.

“I will continue to ensure that the Pubs Code arbitration referral service works for the benefit of those who need to use it.”

The CIArb Dispute Appointment Service (DAS) team are liaising with the PCA to ensure the effective implementation of the new referral service. Any queries about arbitration referrals should be directed to pca@ciarb.org.

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