Drafting the perfect arbitration clause

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A reference to the “perfect arbitration clause” is always likely to be a little controversial. It suggests that somewhere there lies a precedent for a perfect clause, waiting to be discovered in some cave like the Dead Sea scrolls, or the tablets handed down by God on Mount Sinai. Sadly, no such precedent exists. In the same way that all commercial contracts differ, so too will the optimal arbitration clause for any particular situation. In the immortal words of Arthur Ashe “success is a journey, not a destination”, and that is true of drafting arbitration clauses as much as anything else. With that in mind, let’s try and recount the main steps which normally need to be taken on that particular journey.