Strict compliance to form essential in family arbitration agreements

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Family arbitration in Ontario under the Arbitration Act requires that counsel respect certain formalities when concluding an arbitration agreement, failing which the agreement and the award are of no force or effect. This is an exception to the general rule in commercial arbitration where the mere intention of entering into an arbitration agreement is sufficient to bind the parties. A recent case from the Ontario courts illustrates the importance of adhering to the formalities that are prescribed by the Family Statute Law Amendment Act and Ontario Regulations 134/07 when concluding family arbitration agreements.

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