Arbitration

The CPA Alberta provides an arbitration service on a no-charge, voluntary basis, upon written request from both parties. Unlike mediation, the arbitration procedure is formal and, by agreement beforehand, is binding on both parties without appeal. It is designed as a quick and economical way to reach final settlement in any dispute that cannot be settled by negotiation, or by informal mediation.

The Client's Procedures and Responsibilities

The client should request arbitration service in a letter to the Chief Executive Officer of CPA Alberta containing the points listed below.

The Fee Arbitration Form may be used or a separate letter may be sent, if preferred but both must be supported by a Letter of Undertaking.

  • A request that CPA Alberta appoint a panel to arbitrate the fee dispute.
  • An outline of the problem, naming the CPA concerned, stating the service rendered, the amount of the fee in dispute, and the reasons for the client's objections.
  • If the client has not paid the disputed fee, a letter of undertaking from the client's lawyer should be attached confirming that an amount equal to the balance of the disputed fee has been deposited with his lawyer, in trust, and will be paid in accordance with the findings of the arbitration panel.
  • An undertaking to make the related documentation available to the panel and to disclose to the panel full particulars in support of the objections.
  • The name(s) of the individual(s) who will accompany or represent the client at any panel hearings. (For example, the client might wish to be accompanied by a Controller or other officer with special knowledge of the matter under review).
  • An undertaking that the client and/or the representative will attend, at their expense, any panel hearings at which their presence is requested, at a time to be arranged.
  • An acknowledgement that legal counsel will not attend panel hearings.
  • An undertaking to abide by the panel's decision, and agreement that the decision shall be final and binding in all respects and shall not be questioned or reviewed in any court.
  • An agreement that the provisions of the Arbitration Act, R.S.A. c.A-43, will not apply to the arbitration.
  • A confirmation that the client is not aware of the matter being before the courts. If the matter is before the courts, however, the following must be provided: a statement signed by the CPA and client whereby the plaintiff agrees to withdraw the court action, the plaintiff and defendant agree to be bound by the panel's decision, and further agree that the decision shall be final and binding in all respects and shall not be questioned or reviewed in any court.

The Chartered Professional Accountant's Procedures and Responsibilities

The CPA should request the arbitration service in a letter to the Chief Executive Officer of CPA Alberta containing the following:

  • A request that CPA Alberta appoint a panel to arbitrate the fee dispute.
  • An outline of the problem, naming the client, stating the services rendered, the amount of the fee in dispute, and the CPA's representation in support of the fee.
  • If the disputed fee has been paid to the CPA, a letter of undertaking from the CPA's lawyer should be attached confirming that an amount equal to the balance of the disputed fee has been deposited with a lawyer, in trust, and will be paid in accordance with the findings of the arbitration panel.
  • An undertaking to make the related working papers and other documentation available to the panel and to disclose to the panel full particulars in support of the fee.
  • An undertaking to attend, at the CPA's expense, any panel hearings at which his/her presence is requested, at a time to be arranged.
  • Acknowledgement that legal counsel will not attend panel hearings.
  • An undertaking to abide by the panel's decision and agreement that the decision shall be final and binding in all respects and shall not be questioned or reviewed in any court.
  • An agreement that the provisions of the Arbitration Act, R.S.A. c.A-43, will not apply to the arbitration.
  • A confirmation that the CPA is not aware of this matter being before the courts. If the matter is before the courts, however, the following must be provided: a statement signed by the CPA and client whereby the plaintiff agrees to withdraw the court action and both the plaintiff and defendant agree to be bound by the panel's decision, and further agree that the decision shall be final and binding in all respects, and shall not be questioned or reviewed in any court.

General Provisions

CPA Alberta will provide arbitration service, when agreed to by both parties, and where necessary, but will not proceed if the matter is before the courts. If court action is suspended or withdrawn, arbitration may proceed.

CPA Alberta activities in the arbitration are carried on in the name of the Chief Executive Officer or designees.

The arbitration panel will consist of one, two, or three persons appointed at the discretion of the Chief Executive Officer.

Panel hearings will be private, at the time and place, and following the procedures the panel decides. The panel chair will submit to the Chief Executive Officer, a written statement of the panel's decision, signed by all panel members. No oral or written reasons for the decision will be given to the disputing parties. Chief Executive Officer will inform the parties concerned, in writing, of the decision.
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