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Dispute Resolution

Some people will have issues that lead to disputes or differences that need to be resolved. The CAAV and its members can assist with this. It will depend on the nature of the issue whether it is best handled in the courts or by a tribunal or, as increasingly happens, by more informal means such as:

  • mediation
  • expert determination
  • arbitration

The dispute might be about agricultural or other tenancy matters but could be a partnership dispute, compulsory purchase compensation, a contract farming agreement or any other contractual problem.

Appointing People to Settle Disputes

The CAAV’s President can, on request, appoint or nominate someone to act as a mediator, expert or arbitrator to help resolve the matter. For an agricultural or rural dispute that person may often be a CAAV Fellow but there are occasions when someone with other professional skills will be appropriate.

Applications for appointments should be made on this form.

The fee for this service is £234 (including VAT)

Agricultural Tenancy Disputes in England and Wales

The Agriculture Act 2020 now empowers the CAAV President to appoint an arbitrator on the request of either party to a tenancy protected by the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 or the Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995 for many of the possible disputes under those Acts. These include rent reviews, repairing issues, some notice to quit issues and end of tenancy claims.

Applications for appointments should be made on this form.

The fee for this service is £195 (with no VAT)

Helping Parties in a Dispute

Equally, CAAV Fellows can act for parties in an issue whether advising on the issues, in presenting their cases or providing expert witness evidence.


In Scotland, the Scottish Agricultural Arbiters and Valuers Association, affiliated to the CAAV, is statutorily recognised as an Arbitral Appointments Referee, empowered by law to appoint arbitrators if required by someone.

SAAVA’s President will also appoint people to settle a mater as an expert or act as mediator.

Applications for appointments should be made on this form.

Types of Dispute Resolution

For more information on using these methods in agricultural and rural situations, see the CAAV’s publication: Means of Dispute Resolution.


While mediation can take a variety of forms, its essence is that the mediator provides a process by which the parties explain themselves to each other and then explore solutions, While , like a negotiation, it cannot guarantee a result, it can be particularly helpful in resolving issues that are more complex, where the root of the problem cannot be solved by a formal process or where personal relationship are key to the matter.

This can be similar to facilitation, where a skilled and sensitive person can help people work their way through a difficult problem – such as the processes of family succession in a farm business.

Applications for appointments should be made on this form.

Expert Determination

This sees the matter settled by someone using their expertise to consider the evidence and arguments to give an answer. If the terms of the expert’s appointment by the parties provides for that to be a final and binding answer, it will be so. This can be an effective way of resolving something where an answer is needed so that business can then continue.


Here the dispute is referred to an arbitrator (sometimes in Scotland called an arbiter) whose job is the given the answer on the basis of the evidence and arguments put by and tested between the parties, acting a little like a judge.

In rural cases, this may often be with a face to face hearing but also be done with exchanges of written representations between the parties.

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, arbitration operates within the statutory framework of the Arbitration Act 1996.

In Scotland, that framework is generally provided by the Arbitration (Scotland) Act 2010 though agricultural landlord and tenant disputes are still under the Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 1991.

Statutory Means of Dispute Resolution

As well as the courts, the law provides for many disputes to go to more specialist Tribunals. These include:

for England and Wales:

  • First Tier Tribunal for many property, taxation and other matters
  • The Upper Chamber Tribunals for these issues

in Scotland:

  • the Land Court for many agricultural issues
  • the Lands Tribunal for Scotland for many property and compensation issues

in Northern Ireland:

  • the Northern Ireland Lands Tribunal for many property and compensation issues

Where an agricultural or rural dispute is to be resolved by a tribunal or court, one or both parties may need the services of a CAAV Fellow to advise or act as an expert witness for them, sometimes to representing them at a tribunal.