How to prevent construction disagreements turning into disputes

One of the main objectives of all construction contracts is to try and safeguard against any possible disputes which may cause costly delays. The emphasis of that last sentence is, if we are to be completely honest about it, the word “try”. To create a contract which would be completely guaranteed to ensure no disagreement came about would, we believe, take an all but infinite amount of time.

The closest one can get to the above is, it is widely accepted, to take measures as far as possible towards construction dispute avoidance. If we accept that disagreements are both impossible to predict and an improbable matter that you could avoid, then the best path to follow is the one which sees such disagreements managed and handled in a way that does all possible to avoid a dispute situation.

We provide several forms of construction dispute avoidance services. One of the primary – and most effective – of these is to carry out risk assessments of contracts. Although it is true that, in the construction industry, the Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT) sets out standard forms in order to avoid a fundamental misinterpretation or hidden clause, they do not – and cannot – cover all possibilities in respect of a specific contract.

Our team of experts will review and assess the proposed contract before you. We are able to identify critically flawed areas in them that could allow for a disagreement on terms to translate into a dispute. In doing so we are able to make sure your risk factors are managed to acceptable levels.

It is true that processes are in place for construction contract disputes to be resolved in an expedited – and amicable – way. Whilst this is beneficial in terms of ensuring potential losses are limited, the official adjudication process should be considered the final option rather than the first.

There is always an expectation for parties to try and resolve any difference through a number of channels prior to them being escalated to dispute status. Our construction dispute avoidance services are designed to enable you to achieve this.