(a) This Contract shall be governed by and construed in accordance with English law and any dispute arising out of or in connection with this Contract shall be referred to arbitration in London in accordance with the Arbitration Act 1996 or any statutory modification or re-enactment thereof save to the extent necessary to give effect to the provisions of this Clause.
The arbitration shall be conducted in accordance with the London Maritime Arbitrators Association (LMAA) Terms current at the time when the arbitration proceedings are commenced.
The reference shall be to three arbitrators. A Party wishing to refer a dispute to arbitration shall appoint its arbitrator and send notice of such appointment in writing to the other Party requiring the other Party to appoint its own arbitrator within fourteen (14) calendar days of that notice and stating that it will appoint its arbitrator as sole arbitrator unless the other Party appoints its own arbitrator and gives notice that it has done so within the fourteen (14) days specified. If the other Party does not appoint its own arbitrator and give notice that it has done so within the fourteen (14) days specified, the Party referring a dispute to arbitration may, without the requirement of any further prior notice to the other Party, appoint its arbitrator as sole arbitrator and shall advise the other Party accordingly. The award of the sole arbitrator shall be binding on both Parties as if the arbitrator had been appointed by agreement.
Nothing herein shall prevent the Parties agreeing in writing to vary these provisions to provide for the appointment of a sole arbitrator.
In cases where neither the claim nor any counterclaim exceeds the sum of USD 100,000 (or such other sum as the Parties may agree) the arbitration shall be conducted in accordance with the LMAA Small Claims Procedure current at the time when the arbitration proceedings are commenced.
(b) Notwithstanding the above, the parties may agree at any time to refer to mediation any difference and/or dispute arising out of or in connection with this Contract. In the case of any dispute in respect of which arbitration has been commenced under the above, the following shall apply:
(i) Either Party may at any time and from time to time elect to refer the dispute or part of the dispute to mediation by service on the other Party of a written notice (the “Mediation Notice”) calling on the other Party to agree to mediation.
(ii) The other Party shall thereupon within fourteen (14) calendar days of receipt of the Mediation Notice confirm that they agree to mediation, in which case the Parties shall thereafter agree a mediator within a further fourteen (14) calendar days, failing which on the application of either Party a mediator will be appointed promptly by the Arbitration Tribunal (“the Tribunal”) or such person as the Tribunal may designate for that purpose. The mediation shall be conducted in such place and in accordance with such procedure and on such terms as the Parties may agree or, in the event of disagreement, as may be set by the mediator.
(iii) If the other Party does not agree to mediate, that fact may be brought to the attention of the Tribunal and may be taken into account by the Tribunal when allocating the costs of the arbitration as between the Parties.
(iv) The mediation shall not affect the right of either party to seek such relief or take such steps as it considers necessary to protect its interest.
(v) Either Party may advise the Tribunal that they have agreed to mediation. The arbitration procedure shall continue during the conduct of the mediation but the Tribunal may take the mediation timetable into account when setting the timetable for steps in the arbitration.
(vi) Unless otherwise agreed or specified in the mediation terms, each Party shall bear its own costs incurred in the mediation and the Parties shall share equally the mediator’s costs and expenses.
(vii) The mediation process shall be without prejudice and confidential and no information or documents disclosed during it shall be revealed to the Tribunal except to the extent that they are disclosable under the law and procedure governing the arbitration.
(Note: The Parties should be aware that the mediation process may not necessarily interrupt time limits.)
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