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Author: Paulina Szewioła in a discussion with Dr Beata Gessel-Kalinowska vel Kalisz, managing partner at GESSEL.

On 8 April 2011, Dr Beata Gessel-Kalinowska vel Kalisz assumed the duties of president of the Arbitration Court of the Polish Confederation of Private Employers Lewiatan. Dr Gessel is the founder and managing partner of the eponymous law firm, and since 2005 she has been involved with the Lewiatan arbitration court as an arbitrator and as its president.

The new development comprised in the appointment of Dr Gessel to the position of president of the Lewiatan Arbitration Court has provided an opportunity for a discussion of future prospects for arbitration in Poland and for Lewiatan’s activities in this regard.

The advantages of arbitration 

Commenting on the advantages of arbitration, the president of the Lewiatan Arbitration Court emphasises its flexibility. The ways and means of arbitration proceedings are left up to the parties themselves, who make the necessary arrangements by way of a contract and can select from a number of variants. Another indubitable advantage is posed by participation of the parties in appointment of the arbitrators and their freedom to decide upon the terms and timeframes of the proceedings.

Yet modern business is, first and foremost, about time and money, and it is these factors which render arbitration an attractive proposition in that it is more expedient and less expensive than proceedings before the general courts. As Dr Gessel notes, much will depend on the value of the object of the given dispute. Arbitration proceedings concerning lower claims will be less expensive, and ones concerning large claims – more expensive (taking into account all and sundry costs, including that of retaining counsel). Another factor militating in favour of arbitration is that it is a single-instance procedure, saving the time and money entailed in appeals proceedings.