Introduction to this document

Letter of offer to settle by arbitration

If you have been in dispute with a customer or a supplier for some time and want to avoid the expense of going to court, try offering to settle the matter by arbitration.

Purpose of letter

Arbitration hearings are rare because the parties usually end up settling their differences before the day of the hearing. Nonetheless, the proposal to take your dispute to arbitration is useful because it introduces an element of conciliation, without either side giving way on any point at issue.

Our letter allows you to introduce this conciliatory tone into the proceedings without the expense of instructing lawyers.


If your opponent takes up the offer, make sure you have a copy of your letter signed by them before you approach the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, otherwise they won’t be bound by the agreed terms. In particular, the agreement on costs and the acceptance that the decision of the arbitrator is final.

Be careful

The costs of an arbitration hearing are often at least and sometimes substantially more than taking the matter to court. This is because the parties would use the same lawyers as for any court process and must also pay the costs of the arbitrator and their staff.