Are you an SME with a dispute against a trader in another EU Member State?  

Now you can solve your business to business dispute cheaply and efficiently with an innovative Bar Council of Ireland pilot project

When cross-border disputes arise in business the normal avenues to resolve such problems are either through the European Small Claims Procedure for claims under €2000 or litigation for claims above this amount. Unfortunately going to court is not an option for most businesses as it can be expensive, stressful and time-consuming, and this is even more likely to be true when different languages and differing legal systems are involved.
ECC Ireland and the Bar Council of Ireland are delighted to offer the opportunity to avail of a new low cost dispute resolution service for a short time only. The objective of this ADR pilot is to gain a better understanding of businesses perspectives on ADR at cross-border level, to observe how the procedure works for business with a view of furthering the use of ADR in future.
The fee to use this service is 10% of the claim, shared between both disputing parties and there is no upper limit for claims. For example, if your claim is for €2,500, the charge to use this service will be €250, shared between you and the business your claim is against.
Small Claims Arbitration Scheme (SCAS) – how does this work?
SCAS is an innovative Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) scheme intended to facilitate the process of claims for Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The arbitrator is available from a trained pool of barristers and agreed by both sides and his/her decision is binding.
The process is as follows:
·         ECC Ireland will contact both parties to the dispute and invite them to participate in this B2B pilot project.
·         If both parties agree ECC will request that a SCAS form be completed and returned as soon as possible. The fee for SCAS is 10% of the claim and shared equally between both parties.
·         If the business refuses to participate then we will not be able to process this matter further and you will be informed of this without delay.
·         There is no fee for the service provided by ECC Ireland.
Case study
Recently ECC Ireland was contacted by an upholsterer who had a problem with a fabric supplier in the North of Ireland. The upholsterer had used this same supplier for many years and overall he was happy with the service he had received. However recently he received a delivery of fabric and in his opinion this batch was faulty. The trader in the North did not agree and their business relationship was deteriorating as tempers flared. The upholsterer was caught in a situation that should he take legal action against the trader he would inevitably destroy this business relationship and would then need to find another supplier who was as competitive. Plus the fabric was needed to complete a customer’s order. When ECC Ireland was contacted we advised him that our service could not assist him directly, but he could avail of the SCAS ADR service. The upholsterer agreed that this service could be useful and decided to contact the supplier to see if they would be interested in participating. At this point both parties agreed that this was not necessary and reached an amicable agreement between themselves.
According to Susan Dowling, Dispute Resolution Adviser of ECC Ireland, “This case example highlights one of the most important benefits of ADR, the fact that it helps to maintain business relationships”. 
If you would like further information about this scheme, contact Susan Dowling in ECC Ireland at sdowling@eccireland.ie
END
See also Small Claims Arbitration scheme.
Irish Courts System