Workshop 29 April 2021,
only some were on camera!

The Association of Arbitrators has an active branch in the Western Cape which is chaired by Jonathan Mitchell.  Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic the Western Cape Branch used to hold Evening Lectures on topics that would interest practicing and would-be Arbitrators/Mediators as well as holding workshops at a suitable venue, which were attended by Members and Students of the Association, where relevant questions were discussed and debated and where a collective “think tank” process took place to determine the most appropriate “answer” to each question relevant to the process of Arbitration or Mediation.

The numbers of Members and Students attending these workshops ranged from approximately 8 to 20 so as to keep focus on the topic at hand and so as to ensure that each participant would be afforded an equal opportunity to debate the issues and to raise any queries which he or she may wish to raise.

Unfortunately, due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the practice of holding in-person workshops came to an end, however, Jonathan has now continued the practice of holding these workshops via Zoom.

On 22 April 2021 invitations were sent out to Members of the Western Cape Branch to attend this workshop.  On 29 April 2021 the workshop took place via Zoom and was reasonably well attended.  The Western Cape Branch Members were most pleased that our National Chairman Advocate Pierre Rossouw SC was in attendance and actively participated in this workshop.  Likewise, Advocate Kiki Bailey SC who is on the Board of Directors of the Association of Arbitrators NPC was also not only in attendance but very active in the debates which took place at this workshop.

Jonathan had arranged this workshop with the focus on Taxations in Arbitration.  Sections 34 and 35 of the Arbitration Act 42 of 1965 make provision for costs incurred in an Arbitration to be taxed.  Rule 41 of the Association’s rules, January 2018 edition, make provision for the Arbitration Tribunal to tax the costs incurred in an Arbitration.  Nine questions were compiled to be dealt with at this workshop and most of those in attendance played an active role in debating these questions which all pertained to the process of Taxation.

It was pleasing to note that Jonathan had extended invitations to all Members of the Board and even to some Legal Representatives Internationally.  In this regard, there was one Practicing Advocate from Tanzania who participated in the workshop.

It became apparent at this workshop that very few participants had ever been involved in the taxation of Bills of Costs incurred in an Arbitration and it was felt that the holding of this workshop had certainly contributed towards continuing professional development and upskilling of the Members of the Association.

The workshop lasted for approximately one hour, where after Jonathan thanked those in attendance and mentioned that he will organize a follow-up workshop in approximately 6 weeks’ time.

It was pleasing to note that after the conclusion of the workshop Jonathan received emails of gratitude from almost 90% of those who had attended this workshop.  Clearly, this shows that the Members are appreciative of what the Association is doing for them on a Regional level and also that the Members are appreciative of receiving an opportunity to actively debate with competent and skilled Arbitrators issues of relevance that crop up from time to time in the Arbitration arena.

Jonathan Mitchell