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In Place of Strife

The Mediation Chambers

Construction and Engineering

Building contracts are veritable breeding-ground for disputes between employers, contractors and professional advisers or between contractors and sub-contractors.

Traditionally, litigation and arbitration have been the principal routes to resolution, and the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act, 1996, added Adjudication to this list: a quick and effective means of obtaining a preliminary ruling. However, mediation is increasingly playing an important role by providing a structured forum for commercial negotiation in which the parties themselves remain in control. Often the mediation takes place as part of the Pre-Action Protocol for Construction and Engineering Disputes that the parties engage in prior to court or arbitral proceedings.

Given the damaging nature of building disputes, especially where the relationship between team members is vital to the success of a project and where there are more than two parties involved, mediation has forged an important role as the means to speedy resolution at reasonable cost.

Our specialist mediators are is often asked to help resolve anything from domestic building contracts to massive infrastructure projects in both the private and public sectors, sometimes involving PFIs and PPPs. Such disputes most often concern:

  • time and delay claims
  • liquidated and ascertained damages (LADs)
  • payment and defects disputes
  • contractual differences and breaches
  • sub-contractor, consultant and supply chain issues
  • project management issues
  • design failures