The New Digital Dispute Resolution Rules

In acknowledgment of the increasing issues arising on the subject of digital technology, including blockchain technology, cryptocurrency, smart contracts and fintech applications, a UK Jurisdiction Taskforce (UKJT) was set up to look at creating a set of Rules to establish a cost effective and quick resolution to commercial disputes arising in the digital technology space.

After detailed consultation, the Rules have now been published and can be incorporated into a contract by adding the wording “any dispute shall be resolved in accordance with the UKJT Digital Dispute Resolution Rules”.

The procedure to be adopted under the Rules is as follows:

  1. The claimant commences proceedings by giving notice of a claim to the other party, with this notification also being sent to the appointment body – The Society for Computers and Law (SCL).
  2. Following that, the respondent has 3 days to provide an initial response to the claimant and SCL.
  3. Thereafter, the SCL will appoint an arbitrator or expert (referred to as the Tribunal in the Rules) to resolve the dispute. The Tribunal will have complete discretion over the procedure that is to follow and will aim to determine the dispute within 30 days of it being appointed.

The implementation of the Rules is yet a further step by the English Courts to highlight how effective the laws of England and Wales are and why this jurisdiction continues to be favoured globally for dispute resolution.

If you have any concerns or queries relating to this or any other contractual matter, please contact Gemma Newing or a member of our Rooks Rider Solicitors’ Dispute Resolution team for advice and assistance.

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