Many construction disputes threaten long-standing business relationships, which is why they are best dealt with at an early stage, as soon as it becomes apparent that there is a matter that is likely to become a problem. Our legal advice at an early stage is crucial so that you are aware of your legal rights and position enabling you to make a commercial decision based upon our advice and the options open to you. It is often possible to resolve the dispute with early legal advice before any significant loss has been sustained, saving a considerable amount of time expense and anxiety.
With specialist knowledge of the building & construction industry, our commercial litigation team will assess your individual circumstances and advise you accordingly.
We handle all types of construction related disputes and the various avenues of resolution including adjudication, arbitration, litigation and mediation. These are outlined in more detail below.
Parties to Litigation have to comply with the Civil Procedure Rules, which require in many cases the use of a jointly instructed expert and for the parties to consider other methods other than going to court for resolving their disputes. There is a pre-action construction and engineering protocol, which the parties must observe if they want to litigate. Failure to comply with the protocol can have serious costs consequences. Litigation can be a lengthy and expensive process and it is important that you have legal advice at an early stage so as to ensure that the all the necessary procedures have been complied with.
Statutory Adjudication is available as a relatively cheap and quick way of resolving construction contract disputes. However, there are some minor limitations to this type of resolution, which one of our team will outline in further detail if necessary. A fee is paid for an independent impartial adjudicator to assess the dispute and rule on the facts and documentation before him. The decision of an adjudicator is binding and can only be overturned by litigation or arbitration.
Construction contracts may have an Arbitration provision that requires disputes to be solved by an arbitrator, who would be a member of a professional body such as RIBA, RICS etc. The arbitrator’s decision is usually final and legally binding and can on occasion, be quicker and more cost effective that litigation. However, the arbitrators’ fees also have to be paid by the parties. The advantage of arbitration is the relative lack of legal formality and the fact that the procedure is not subject to the lengthy procedures often experienced in court proceedings.
Mediation offers flexibility and simplicity, avoiding costly and lengthy legal processes. The process is straightforward and informal, with an independent mediator who will identify the real issues at stake and guide both parties in a frank and fair manner. This method is effective in maintaining existing business relationships after the dispute has ended. It does however rely upon both parties on the dispute being agreeable to mediation and being prepared to be bound by the mediation process.
Why choose us?
We will advise you on the best method of resolve for your particular Construction Dispute circumstances and give you the best guidance from our wealth of knowledge in this particular field. Whichever method is decided upon, our teams are experienced in putting together all relevant documentation needed in a construction dispute, whether that is Litigation, Adjudication or Arbitration.