Here at Amison Dispute Resolutions, we help our clients not only to manage and resolve disputes that have arisen, but also where possible to avoid them.
We can help with this in a number of ways. We work with each of our clients to look at their in-house procedures, the way they manage the contract from tender stage and risk assessing the terms that they are being asked to sign and advising on the impact of such terms, the ongoing management of the contract right to the end of a project and more often than not, beyond practical completion, agreement of final account and throughout the defects liability period.
RISK ASSESSMENTS OF CONTRACTS
- Traffic Light Risk Assessment
- Key areas with discussions and negotiations with Main Contractor
- Full contract assessment
An Assessment on a contract setting out which clauses to be aware of, what they mean to you, particularly if they can be costly, what the risks are and what to do about those risks.
- Risk Assessment of Warranties
- Monthly Retainer personalized to our client’s needs
This is a service to provide day to day assistance with issues and enquiries. This service includes pre-contract advice and contract queries. The time spent on each issue will be capped at ½ hour. If further work is required, this will be quoted for before work is carried out.
- Full Day
- Half Day
Days to be spent in the office to assist with procedures and advice
- Full Day
- Half Day
Training programme as agreed to suit.
Other general dispute works including:
Reports, Contractual Letters, Advice on complex issues, attending meetings, assisting with court paperwork, terms of business.
The list of services is not exhaustive and is merely a general overview.
Whilst we work with our client to avoid disputes, sometimes they arise and our client’s appreciate the help to resolve them.
Our Dispute Resolution Services Include but are not limited to:-
- JCT contracts, major forms of standard contract and less formal agreements
- The Construction and Engineering Pre-Action Protocol and Practice Directions
- Proceedings in the Technology and Construction Court (“TCC”)
- Outside the Court system through Mediation, Early Expert Determination, Adjudication and Arbitrations
- Ongoing working relationships that ensure our clients access to specialist Counsel, expert witnesses, and direct industry experience.
- The majority of the work that we do is for Sub-Contractors, however we do also work for various Local Authorities, education establishments and health sector departments.
- Disputes concerning faulty workmanship, defective materials, price, and delay.
- Claims for liquidated damages.
- Claims for extensions of time.
- Claims for associated loss and expense caused by delay or disruption to a building project.
- Claims for outstanding payments.
- Claims relating to defective workmanship or supervision.
- Claims relating to the cost of carrying out additional works or variations under a contract.
- Disputes over interim and final accounts
- Enforcement of Adjudicator’s decisions.
Adjudication is in the majority, a quick procedure applicable to construction contracts, derived from the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 (Construction Act 1996), known as statutory adjudication, or where the parties have agreed to refer disputes to adjudication, this type of Adjudication is known as contractual adjudication.
Adjudications can be concluded within 28 days of referring a dispute to the Adjudicator. The aim of Adjudications is to protect cash flow during the construction process. An Adjudicator’s Decision is binding on the parties unless and until the dispute is determined by litigation, arbitration or agreement.
An alternative to litigation which is more formal than adjudication, but more flexible than court proceedings.
The Arbitrator is often someone with a construction background. The Arbitrator’s Award is final and binding on the parties.
Unlike court proceedings, the proceedings are private and confidential. Many are carried out under the auspices of a trade body or a recognised institution.
This involves the appointment of an expert who is familiar with the technical issues in a dispute. He is jointly instructed by the parties to determine the dispute between them. This is usually on the basis of written submissions only. The Decision is legally binding on the parties. The process is very informal and is usually a lot cheaper and quicker than other forms of litigation.
EARLY NEUTRAL EVALUATION
This is a non-binding process in which an independent third party, appointed by the parties, gives an independent assessment of the merits of the claim. There is no power to impose a settlement on the parties, however, the evaluation can often promote settlement discussions.
This process involves the appointment of an independent third party who assist the parties with negotiating their own settlement. The process is private and confidential and any settlement agreed as a result of the mediation will be binding on the parties. Mediation is widely used by the construction industry to resolve construction disputes.
OTHER FORMS OF ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION (ADR)
Other methods of resolving disputes include without prejudice negotiations which can take place either at a meeting or by correspondence. ADR. Many of our clients find that our assistance at meetings has been valuable in finalising disputes that have been ongoing for some time.
PRE-ACTION PROTOCOL FOR CONSTRUCTION AND ENGINEERING DISPUTES
The Protocol applies to all construction and engineering disputes (including professional negligence claims against architects, engineers and quantity surveyors) that are heading towards litigation. The Protocol requires the parties to attend a without prejudice pre-action meeting. At this meeting, parties are required to consider whether some form of ADR procedure (including mediation) would be more suitable than litigation and, if so, to agree which form of ADR to adopt.
In addition to holding a without prejudice pre-action meeting, the court may require the parties to provide evidence that ADR has been considered. Importantly, if a party fails to consider ADR or commences proceedings prematurely, the court must take this into account when considering costs.
Having a good relationship with our client’s team, means that we are approachable at every level, we can discuss matters direct with Site Workers, Contract Managers, Quantity Surveyors and other personnel, right up to Director level.