The “Terms and Conditions” can be downloaded here
- This document constitutes the Standard Terms and Conditions on which The Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry, trading as The African Commercial Dispute Settlement Centre [“The Centre”] renders its dispute settlement services.
- The party or parties referring the matter to The Centre [as identified in the Dispute Referral Form, and herein referred to as "the parties"] confirm that:
2.1 any service provided to the parties by The Centre shall be provided upon these terms and conditions;
2.2 they are aware of and accept these terms and conditions, and furthermore subject themselves to The Centre’s Dispute Settlement Procedures [referred to as “the Rules” or “Rule”].
- The Centre hereby records, and the parties acknowledge that recording, that The Centre has appointed Equillore Dispute Settlement Services (Pty) Ltd [referred to as “Equillore”] as The Centre’s agent in providing some or all of the services in terms of this agreement.
3.1 The parties acknowledge Equillore’s appointment as The Centre’s agent, and hereby accept that Equillore is properly authorised to act in terms of this agreement for and on behalf of The Centre;
3.2 The parties further acknowledge that, despite the fact that Equillore may in its own name send out process documentation, issue invoices and collect monies, it shall at all times be acting as an agent for The Centre;
3.3 This appointment shall not prevent The Chamber from providing any of the service in terms of this agreement directly to the parties’
- The parties hereby request The Centre to arrange and/or provide the services identified in the Dispute Referral Form, and as further required. The Centre agrees to arrange for and provide the requested services upon the terms and conditions specified herein. In doing so, The Centre shall be required to provide some or all of the following service components:
4.1 The services of a dispute practitioner (conciliator, mediator, arbitrator, taxing master, etc);
4.2 The Centre’s case administration services, inclusive of a venue usage charge;
4.3 Any additional services that may be required by the dispute (interpreter, recording facility, transcription service etc).Upon receipt of a completed Dispute Referral Form The Centre shall provide these service components at a level and quantity as in The Centre’s discretion is required by the dispute, but subject to any of the parties’ reasonable specifically agreed requirements.
- The prescribed fees in respect of The Centre’s services, and these service components, shall be in accordance with the published fee structure as contained in The Centre’s document entitled “The Centre Pricing Structure”.
5.1 The fees and charges therein contained shall, without any further notice, increase in accordance with any general tariff increase by The Centre. Such increased fees shall also apply to any matters already referred to The Centre, but only in respect of such aspects of the matter as are not yet finalised on the date of the increase, and further provided that any such increase shall not exceed 15% per annum of the fees and charges listed therein.
5.2 Additional fees will be charged, and as follows:
5.2.1 Fees for additional services required, used or requested by the parties, and in accordance with the published fee structure, or as determined by The Centre.
5.2.2 VAT at the prescribed rate will be levied on all amounts payable to The Centre, and where applicable, on the amounts payable towards the dispute practitioner’s fees.
5.2.3 Disbursements incurred by The Centre in respect of postal services, delivery expenses, faxes, photocopying, preparation of bundles, telephone calls, and any other causes are normally included in the case management fee. However The Centre reserves the right to recover such costs where the expenses relating to the case in The Centre’s opinion is out of the ordinary or warrants it.
- All fees in terms of this agreement, including the fees due to the dispute practitioner, shall become due and payable as follows:
6.1 In the case of all conciliation, mediation and arbitration referrals, a referral fee equal to the cost of a conciliation event shall be invoiced upon receipt of the referral, and shall be immediately due and payable. Any additional fees relating to such a conciliation process shall be invoiced and become due as and when they arise;
6.2 Where the parties agree at the conciliation meeting to schedule any additional events, any fees relating to such additional events shall be invoiced as soon as the conciliation meeting is concluded, and shall be immediately due and payable;
6.3 Where the parties at any stage agree to extend the duration of any additional events, any fees relating to such additional events shall be invoiced as soon as the agreement is reached, and shall be immediately due and payable;
6.4 In the case of a taxation, the referral fee shall be invoiced upon receipt of the referral. Any other fees shall become payable upon the finalisation of the matter either through a settlement, or a deemed settlement, or through an arbitration award, or withdrawal of the referral;
6.5 The Centre shall provide to the party(ies) an invoice that sets out the amounts due to The Centre and to the Dispute Practitioner, and the date or dates upon which such amounts became due. All amounts due shall be paid on presentation of the invoice;
6.6 The Centre’s tax invoices shall be prima facia proof of the amounts due in terms of this agreement, and of the date or dates on which the said amounts became due;
6.7 Interest shall may levied on any unpaid amounts from the due date to the date of payment at the rate of 5% above ABSA Bank’s applicable prime interest rate, and shall be capitalised monthly;
6.8 In the event that The Centre is required to institute legal or arbitration proceedings to recover any outstanding fees due in terms of this agreement, the party(ies) in default shall be liable for The Centre’s legal costs on the scale as between attorney and own client.
- In the case of settlement or postponement, the following cancellation fees shall apply:
7.1 Where a referral is cancelled or withdrawn prior to the conciliation meeting, a cancellation fee equal to 50% of the total fee shall apply if the cancellation/withdrawal is more than ten days prior to the scheduled conciliation meeting;
7.2 Where any other process event is cancelled or postponed:
7.2.1 More than 10 days prior to the scheduled event, a cancellation fee equal to 50% of The Centre’s fees in respect of that event shall apply;
7.2.2 Within 10 days of the scheduled event, a cancellation fee equal to 75% of The Centre’s fees in respect of that event shall apply;
7.3 Where the appointment of a dispute practitioner for a specific date is cancelled or postponed:
7.3.1 More than 10 days prior to the scheduled event, a cancellation fee equal to 50% of his first day’s fees in respect of that event shall apply;
7.3.2 Within 10 days of the scheduled event, a cancellation fee equal to 75% of his first day’s fees in respect of that event, plus 50% of any additional and consecutive days, shall apply.
- In the event of any moneys not being paid to The Centre, The Centre may immediately, and without any further notice to any party:
8.1 suspend the rendering of any further services until such time as the full outstanding amount has been paid. This may include the postponement of scheduled events, and or withholding of the arbitrator’s award or the mediator’s certificate, where applicable; and or
8.2 revoke the dispute practitioner’s brief, and pay any fees already due to him on behalf of the parties; and or
8.3 terminate this agreement and forfeit to The Centre any and all monies already due to The Centre.
- Where the award of an arbitrator is taken on appeal or review in terms of The Centre’s Rules, the following provisions apply:
9.1 The fees as set out in clause 4 shall apply;
9.2 All moneys due in an appeal or review matter shall become due at the appeal / review meeting, and shall be paid within 7 days of date of the invoice.
- The parties mandate The Centre to act as an intermediary on their behalf in obtaining the services of one or more dispute practitioner(s). The Centre is hereby irrevocably authorised to contract on their behalf with the relevant dispute practitioner(s) on such terms and conditions as are not inconsistent with those herein contained. Such terms and conditions shall include provisions that:
10.1 In the event of the dispute practitioner appointed by the parties being an advocate, the parties’ attorneys hereby jointly brief the dispute practitioner;
10.2 The Centre will bill the parties on behalf of the dispute practitioner(s), and the parties will pay the fees of the dispute practitioner(s) to The Centre;
10.3 The Centre is entitled to 10% of any amount payable to the dispute practitioner, and may deduct such amount from the fees disbursed to the dispute practitioner(s).
- The fees due to any dispute practitioner appointed by the parties shall be included in The Centre’s invoice to the parties, and shall be due and payable on presentation of such invoices. The parties are however in agreement that any such fees is not income that accrues to The Centre, but monies that must be disbursed by The Centre to the appointed dispute practitioner;
- Subject to clause 13.1, the party referring the dispute to The Centre [identified as “the Referring Party” in the Dispute Referral Form] is responsible for payment to The Centre of all fees due in respect of this agreement.
12.1 The parties may agree that another party (ies) than the Referring party should pay some or all of The Centre’s fees, and may request The Centre to invoice the parties in accordance with such agreement.
12.2 Where The Centre does invoice in accordance with such an agreement between the parties, it shall not in any way reduce or detract from the liability of the Referring Party in accordance with clause 10 above.
- The Centre shall be the owner of the copyright of any arbitration award generated by the arbitrator during any arbitration proceedings, and the parties hereby authorise The Centre to publish any such documents in any format or publication.
- Where the Dispute Referral Form is signed by both parties, or the referral is made in terms of a pre-existing dispute settlement agreement between the parties:
14.1 the parties shall, despite the provisions of clause 5, be jointly and severally liable for the payment of all fees due in terms of this agreement;
14.2 agree that all costs payable in terms of this agreement shall be costs in the cause, and shall, where an arbitrator is appointed, be subject to his discretion as to who will be liable for payment thereof.
- Neither the Centre nor Equillore shall not be liable to any party for any act or omission relating to a dispute process conducted under its aegis by any of the Centre or Equillore’s employees, or by any dispute practitioner, and shall have no liability or responsibility towards the parties or to any dispute practitioner in respect of any dispute process commenced under the aegis of The Centre but not completed according to the Rules.
- It is specifically recorded that The Centre sends out reminders of pending procedural steps to parties as a courtesy to the parties, and not as a duty in terms of this agreement.
- A dispute practitioner appointed by The Centre shall not be liable for any act or omission relating to any process in which he was the appointed officer, except for deliberate misconduct by him, and in which event he, and not The Centre or Equillore, shall be liable.
- In the event of any dispute of any nature whatsoever arising between The Centre and the parties on any matter provided for in, or arising out of this agreement, then that dispute shall:
18.1 First be submitted to mediation, and failing that be submitted to and decided by arbitration;
18.2 Any mediation and arbitration arising out of this arbitration agreement shall be referred to The Centre and shall be conducted in accordance with the standard terms and conditions, and the dispute settlement procedures then applicable in The Centre, provided that The Centre shall appoint an independent case manager for such a referral, and provided further that where the parties cannot agree on the mediator or arbitrator, he shall be appointed by the Chairperson of the Cape Bar Council.
- This document constitutes the entire agreement between the parties, and nothing at variance with the terms hereof shall be binding unless reduced to writing and signed by or on behalf of all the parties thereto.
- The terms of this agreement shall not become binding on The Centre unless and until its authorised agent accepts the appointment in terms of this agreement either through action or in writing.