Understanding the nature of a potential dispute and its consequences early on can often allow other options to be considered. Once the dispute becomes too developed it can be difficult for parties to step back from positions taken. Early consideration of problem solving options may prove a less costly and damaging route than adjudication, litigation or arbitration.
Mediation can allow the resolution of disputes where the costs or risks of formal dispute resolution are prohibitive or the effect of a formal dispute process on commercial relationships would be too negative.
Mediation is mostly chosen by the parties but can also be suggested by the courts. When considering your options i.e. a dispute appears to be arising, mediation will be one of the options. Contact Willis Consultancy to discuss what your options are and how mediation might be the right choice for you.
What is adjudication?
Adjudication is a dispute resolution process to quickly get a decision from an independent third party (the adjudicator) and an order for payment or a decision on an issue such as defects or quality or liability.
The decision is given within 28 to 42 days from the third party receiving the case. The process can be extended further by agreement.
How is the case given to the Adjudicator?
The process is usually documents only which may include photographs or witness statements as well as the original project information. In some cases, a site visit may be agreed or a meeting held (this can be done virtually and so is not affected during COVID restrictions).
Who pays for the process?
Each party must pay its own costs and is not liable for the costs of the other party. The adjudicator charges fees. The usual rate is about £250.00 per hour plus VAT. The adjudicator will normally order the losing party to pay his or her fees and expenses.
Arbitration is available where the contract specifies it as the final from of dispute resolution. Akin to litigation but in a private context with an arbitrator instead of a judge it is the choice of many companies when drafting contracts. Tim Willis is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and has conducted many arbitrations. If you have a dispute that must be referred to arbitration or someone is threatening arbitration against you Willis Consultancy can help. Contact us to discuss your needs.
When you need assistance with project documentation, subcontracts, consultants appointments and related commercial documents, Willis Consultancy can assist.
Contact us to discuss your needs.
Standard forms provide a template from which to document your contract requirements and conditions but often additional clauses or changes to the standard drafting or procedures are needed. While it is tempting to tinker with contracts poor amendments are one of the greatest sources of construction disputes and costly litigation.
For a small upfront cost you can avoid making mistakes that could cost thousands of pounds or even threaten the viability of a job. Willis Consultancy can help and provide the input and assistance you need to document what you want in a way that avoids such unwelcome risk.
Most standard forms of contract published by the construction sector now have options where a client requires that BIM is delivered as part of the project. The way in which the contracts do this can be quite different. To provide a standard risk allocation and to limit liability for those providing BIM, the CIC produced a BIM protocol to use where clients specified a PAS 1192-2 process to deliver BIM to BIM level 2. With changes to process in the more recent BS EN ISO 19650-2 documentation, where clients specify that, the UK BIM Framework has produced an Information protocol to achieve the same purpose. However clients may specify BIM requirements which are not based on these processes or change the contract drafting dealing with risks and responsibilities around BIM. It is important to consider BIM requirements and potential liability. The relationship between contract drafting and BIM continues to evolve. Before you sign the contract you should have considered the risk associated with BIM or Information requirements. If you need assistance understanding the implications and contract requirements, Willis Consultancy can help you to review and deal with the risk.
Failing to review documents can be costly and lose you more than the contract price if things go wrong. For a simple contract review service and report please contact us with your needs.
Negotiating contracts can be time consuming and resource intensive. If you need negotiating back up Willis Consultancy can provide that assistance.
Pricing mechanisms, adjustments to the contract sum, extensions of time, payment provisions, insurance and limitations of liability are all matters that you need to consider when reviewing the risk allocation in the contract. Contracts vary in their treatment of risk from project to project. The risks are often hidden in lengthy drafting and amendments. If you need assistance in reviewing or negotiating a contract then Willis Consultancy has the experience to assist you or provide a report.
Watch our webinar about payment terms to avoid the risk of non-payment.
Commercial activity takes place in a regulatory context. The built environment is heavily regulated. If you have questions concerning the regulatory framework then please contact Willis Consultancy.
Our experience of legal practice as a fee earner, partner and consultant in a range of law firms means that we can quickly become part of your team dealing with the whole range of litigation tasks.
Any project or contract will have its problems which if not dealt with have commercial implications. Understanding the commercial implications allows better decision making to avoid or mitigate risk and so prevent losses multiplying. Willis Consultancy works alongside a broad range of clients providing advice and assistance at any stage of a project. Contact us to discuss your needs.
The variety of contracts used by the industry means that you cannot rely on your teams necessarily having the right previous experience. Willis Consultancy can provide training and workshops on a variety of forms of contract. We can also help you embed framework procedures and new processes such as BIM into you commercial structures by providing training to your delivery team. Tim Willis is a tutor for ICE training and also lectures at a number of universities on dispute resolution, contracts and BIM. Tim has provided training to government departments, utilities companies, local authorities, Tier 1 contractors, consultants and subcontractors.
Please contact us with your training needs and we can provide bespoke training or standard packages based on your needs. Training is currently hosted on Zoom or Teams and is a cost effective way of getting your staff and processes working more seamlessly together.