National and International Commercial Arbitration

When two parties sign a contract, they are normally thinking of the success of the business, not on its failure. Nevertheless, sometimes there are conflicts and if the parties cannot reach an agreement, they must resort to a judge and litigate for 8 or 10 years.

Arbitration, on the other hand, is a way of resolving conflicts where the parties, upon signing the contract, waive the ordinary courts to resolve their eventual issues before arbitrators, appointed by them, specialists on the matter, in a process without appeals or delays that is normally resolved in less than a year.

The parties must cover the cost of the arbitration, but this is not significant if one considers the specialty and the speed with which the case is resolved. Statistics show that the difference between the cost of arbitration and a civil lawsuit is less than 20%, the remaining 80% or more must be spent in the ordinary courts anyway.In Costa Rica, we have almost 20 years of experience in national arbitration and in 2011, the law of International Arbitration was passed.

At ARBITRAT, we are experts in arbitration, with ample experience as litigators, as arbitrators and as university professors on arbitration matters.


Conflicts can be resolved two ways: directly between the parties or with the intervention of a third party, who can be a mediator, a judge or an arbitrator.

In conciliation, a third party, the mediator, who has been trained in particular communication techniques, assists and guide the parties to find a better solution to their problem, making it possible to overcome intransigent positions. This is the best way to solve a controversy, because the solution is reached by those involved in the issue.

In Costa Rica, the Law of Alternate Dispute Resolution grants conciliating agreements the value of Res Judicata, that is, they are final and unappealable, thus in case of noncompliance, it may be executed by a judge.

At ARBITRAT, we are certified experts, trained and with ample experience in conciliation.

Civil and Commercial Litigation

The way in which mercantile and civil conflicts have been traditionally resolved is through trial at the State Courts, and although we advocate and prefer arbitration, many times litigation before the Courts is unavoidable.

At ARBITRAT, we have more than 30 years of experience in disciplined and effective trial proceedings.

Preventive Legal Counsel

“The law is an excellent preventive medicine, but generally a bad healing medicine” (José Rafael Fernandez)

Many times, it is thought that the cost of legal counsel is expensive, but the truth is that a preventive legal consultation may avoid years of litigation and huge economic losses.

At ARBITRAT, we place at the client´s disposal more than 30 years of litigation, arbitration and conciliation experience to offer legal counsel that prevents serious future conflicts.

Notarial Services

The function of the Notary is essential in Costa Rica, due to the public faith with which Notaries are invested and because the law requires notarial deeds for transfers of vehicles and real estate properties; for the correct operation of corporation; for drafting wills, etc. However, poorly performed notary work can be disastrous for the client.

At ARBITRAT, we are very much aware of our experience as specialists in conflict resolution when practicing our notary duties, preventing future problems and allowing the efficient operation of our clients’ companies.

Conflict resolution culture education

As experts in Alternate Dispute Resolution and university professors, we believe in the need of creating and expanding the culture of the peaceful dispute resolution, through mediation and arbitration.

That is why, together with ARBITRAT, we have also created the Costa Rican Arbitration and Mediation Academy, where hand in hand with the Catholic University of Costa Rica and where José Rafael Fernández is the Dean of the School of Law, we develop extension programs to educate citizens, students, businessmen, and lawyers in the culture of peaceful conflict resolution.