COVID-19 Commercial Lease Disputes Arbitration and Mediation

Government Funded and Low Cost Services
Apply for Fully Funded Arbitration or Mediation

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: Fully funded arbitration and mediation services now open for applications

NZDRC is recognised and respected as the country’s most experienced and trusted provider of private commercial arbitration and mediation services and has been delivering commercial mediation and arbitration (including expedited arbitration) services under its institutional rules for over 30 years.

NZDRC has been contracted by the Ministry of Justice to deliver fully funded arbitration and mediation services for eligible parties to commercial leases who are in dispute about the payment of rent and outgoings where the tenant has experienced a material loss of revenue during an Alert Level 3 or 4 lockdown period (a Lockdown Period) because of government restrictions put in place to combat COVID-19 (the Scheme).

The only issue in dispute that may be referred to arbitration or mediation under the Scheme is the payment of rent and outgoings where the tenant has experienced a material loss of revenue during a Lockdown Period because of Government restrictions put in place to combat COVID-19.

For those parties who do not meet the eligibility criteria for the Government funded Scheme, NZDRC provides a special fixed fee arbitration and mediation service (Special Service) to assist parties to commercial leases who find themselves in dispute about the payment of rent and outgoings due to the COVID-19 lockdowns. This Special Service is streamlined to ensure parties can access a prompt and cost-effective process, even where they are not eligible for the Government funded Scheme.

This Special Service is in addition to our existing offerings including arbitration, mediation and expert determination for other types of disputes arising under, out of, or in connection with, commercial leases. Such disputes often typically involve disputes concerning, among other things, rent renewals, reinstatement of premises, and repair, replacement and maintenance of the property, premises and/or fixtures and fittings.

Whether parties proceed under the Government funded Scheme, NZDRC’s low cost fixed fee Special Scheme or our general commercial arbitration and mediation services, they will receive access to the same credible and professional service, as well as to the same highly experienced panel of arbitrators and mediators.

For further information, please contact our Registry staff.

Mediation

Mediation is a consensual, confidential, and informal negotiation process in which parties to a dispute use the services of a skilled and independent mediator to assist them to negotiate a mutually acceptable settlement of that dispute which meets their interests and needs and which need not conform to strict legal rights or general community standards.

To proceed with mediation under the Scheme, the parties will need to agree to mediate under the NZDRC COVID-19 Commercial Lease Mediation Rules.  Parties can do this by completing an Agreement to Mediate.

Any eligible party may then initiate mediation under the Scheme by completing an Application for Mediation.

The mediation itself will take place by videoconference and will be limited to a half day (up to four hours).

Arbitration

Arbitration is a legal process governed by the Arbitration Act 1996 under which an arbitrator decides matters in dispute according to the law.

To proceed with arbitration under the Scheme, the parties will need to agree to arbitrate under the NZDRC COVID-19 Commercial Lease Arbitration Rules.  Parties can do this by completing an Agreement to Arbitrate.

Any eligible party may then initiate arbitration under the Scheme by completing an Application for Arbitration.

NZDRC’s COVID-19 Commercial Lease Arbitration Rules provide for a ‘documents only’ arbitration procedure and are specifically designed to result in an award being made which finally determines the dispute within 45 working days. The Rules are based on NZDRC’s well known and tested ECA45 Arbitration Rules which we have adapted specifically for the Scheme.  

NZDRC Low Cost and Fixed Fee Scheme

Don’t qualify for the Government funded arbitration or mediation scheme? NZDRC’s low cost and fixed fee arbitration and mediation special COVID-19 services remain open. Read on to learn more.

Mediation

To proceed under this special service, the parties will need to agree to mediate under the NZDRC Mediation Rules.  Parties can do this by completing our special form Agreement to Mediate.

The mediation itself will take place by videoconference and will be limited to a half day (up to four hours).

The fee which will apply to this service is fixed at $5,000.00 (including GST).

 

 

Arbitration

To proceed under this special service, the parties will need to agree to arbitrate under the NZDRC ECA45 Arbitration Rules.  Parties can do this by completing our special form Agreement to Arbitrate.

These Rules provide for a documents only arbitration procedure and are specifically designed to result in an Award being made which finally determines all substantive issues in dispute within 45 working days or earlier if the parties agree.

The fee which will apply to this service is fixed at $8,000.00 (including GST).