There are 5 basic methods of resolving construction disputes, the most usual of which arise between a contractor and employer, or between a sub-contractor and main-contractor. A new article on the Cousins Business Law website, 5 Methods of resolving construction disputes, details the basic characteristics of each method, from the cheapest upwards and points out their main pros and cons.
Here’s a snapshot of the pluses and minuses in each case – read the full article or contact Cousins Business Law for more details
Contract Administrator - ask the Contract Administrator to make a decision.
Pros: quick and cheap.
Cons: may not be binding.
Negotiation - over the telephone, by correspondence, at a meeting or through mediation.
Pros: quick, cheap and parties in control of outcome.
Cons: unless parties have equal power, it may not be effective.
Adjudication - all parties to a construction contract have a statutory right to adjudication which can be commenced at any time and a decision within 28 days.
Pros: quick, relatively cheap and immediately enforceable.
Cons: rough and ready decision, and can be overturned in later proceedings.
Arbitration - much more like court proceedings than adjudication. Requires a genuine dispute and a binding agreement.
Pros: a thorough procedure although quicker than court, convenience, privacy, a binding decision, and parties can opt to choose an arbitrator with technical expertise in the issue to be decided.
Litigation - where a dispute is referred to the courts for a decision.
Pros: a more thorough procedure, a binding decision, multiple parties can be joined in, best if there is a point of law to be decided, and often more decisive.
Cons: can be slower than other resolution methods, expensive.
No two disputes are the same and the decision as to what method should be adopted in a particular case should be decided in consultation with a dispute resolution solicitor who can advise what is best in your particular case.