Construction Dispute Resolution
Where a dispute has crystalised on your project, you will need prompt and timely support to ensure your position is protected and where possible strengthened. In these circumstances, our clients will immediately contact us for an authoritative opinion they can trust. Before commencing any construction dispute resolution process, Edge Consult will provide you with an initial indication of the strengths and weaknesses of your position. At Edge Consult we value the repeat business of our clients. Therefore, we will provide you with our honest opinion on the advantages and risks of the options available to you.
Initially, whenever it is an option, we will try to establish a robust and supportable negotiation position, providing you with all necessary support to target your desired outcome. If necessary, we can undertake these negotiations on your behalf. However, where it is clear the negotiation stage has long passed and a formal construction dispute resolution process is the only way to conclude matters, careful preparation and good record keeping will be the key to a successful outcome. Edge Consult’s extensive experience and expertise will be essential in determining the next steps and strategy to resolve your dispute, be that in a formal process or through negotiation.
Whilst some people in the property and construction industries still consider the courts and lawyers as the first step to resolving a construction dispute, most people working in construction are now aware of the huge advantages in using the Adjudication process. Adjudication will normally resolve disputes far quicker and cheaper than going through the courts.
Where the parties are in a valid construction contract, either party has a statutory right to have the dispute resolved by Adjudication. Depending on the form of contract the parties may also have a contractual right to Adjudicate. Adjudication is a quick and cost effective procedure to resolving construction disputes at any time. From the issue of a Notice of Adjudication to the receipt of a Decision is typically just 5 to 6 weeks. This Decision is then binding on the parties and any payment awarded must be made. Occasionally Decisions are challenged in the courts, but this is very rare as the courts will enforce an Adjudication Decision in all but exceptional circumstances. For more information on the Adjudication process, please give us a call.
The Partners at Edge Consult have acted as Party Representative in well over 700 Adjudications, representing Employers, Contractors, Sub-Contractors, Suppliers and Consultants. We act for parties who wish to commence an Adjudication and for those who urgently need to respond to an Adjudication commenced against them. When acting as Party Representative in an Adjudication, Edge Consult can represent you and deal with the procedural, contractual, cost and programme matters that may form the dispute.
Expert Witness and Litigation Support
Edge Consult are frequently appointed by Lawyers to provide Expert Witness Statements or litigation support on matters such as delay analysis, valuation, and contract administration. The Partners’ extensive experience in these three areas as both construction professionals and dispute resolution consultants will provide you with the necessary independent expertise. Often programme matters, valuation and contract administration are inextricably linked. Edge Consult can provide Reports covering all three of these key disputed areas.
Negotiation or Mediation
Notwithstanding all the benefits of Adjudication, there will always be the risk that the Adjudicator’s decision may not be as you would have hoped. Hence most parties will in the first instance try to negotiate an agreement with the other party. As with all negotiations, it is best to negotiate from a position of strength, fully prepared with all supporting documents necessary to argue your case. Edge Consult’s Partners have the experience and expertise to work with you in assembling a robust negotiation position. If you wish, Edge Consult can also lead the negotiations on your behalf. Often the other party fails to grasp the strength of our client’s position until all substantiation has been presented.
However, should the negotiation be unsuccessful, the documents assembled for the negotiation will not go to waste. If you decide to commence an Adjudication, this documentation will become essential evidence to support your position. Never forget the three most important aspects in any Adjudication are records, records, and records.