The City of London has long been an international centre for Arbitration and dispute resolution. The Masters of the early Guilds, the forerunners of today's Livery Companies, often acted as arbitrators in disputes between guild members and between those members and their customers.
The Worshipful Company of Arbitrators seeks to foster the professions of arbitration, mediation and other forms of private dispute resolution as a collegiate forum for practitioners and proponents. We aim to support the Lord Mayor, the Sheriffs and the Aldermen in the development of UK business and in the promotion of London and the UK as a centre for the provision of private dispute resolution services and as a source of advice and guidance internationally. There is an Annual Lecture held in the City and a Pupillage Scheme provides assistance to aspiring arbitrators. We are members of the Financial Services Group of modern Livery Companies through which we provide active support to the Lord Mayor in their role as ambassador for UK trade and commerce.
Through its Charity the Company provides support in the education of students in the fields of arbitration and other related forms of dispute resolution; a number of grants and bursaries are given every year.
Master on board Mersey
This shows the officers and captain of Mersey, Lt Commander David Gillett RN, on the fore-deck with the Master and the Company's liaison officer Ken McLean after having enjoyed an extremely good lunch in the ward-room prepared by the ship's on-board gourmet chefs. Mersey was tied up for a few days in Portsmouth when the WCA visit took place on 2 April. Shortly after this Mersey set off again on patrol, calling in at Liverpool where Liveryman Craig Kersey was able to pay a visit. We were all mightily impressed to learn that Mersey has three complete crews which enable the vessel to remain at sea for over 300 days a year. The crew were all enthusiastic about the WCA awards and looked forward to sharing our hospitality at the Installation dinner in October.
HMS Mersey is a River-class off-shore patrol vessel, the fifth of that name in the Royal Navy and the first for in 84 years. She was built by Vosper Thornycroft in Southampton to serve as a fishery protection vessel along with her two sister ships Tyne and Severn. All three were commissioned into service in 2003.
However, Mersey extends her range further afield and includes drug interception patrols in the Caribbean, which are surprisingly popular with the crew.
HMS Mersey has been adopted by the Worshipful Company of Arbitrators, which presents an annual prize to the Sailor of the Year who attends our Installation dinner, together with the Commanding Officer and wives.