Strategies to resolve construction disputes

Construction contracts will include a few dispute resolution processes that include some formal steps. Most contracts will include a consultant decision, negotiations, a non-binding expert opinion, mediation and finally, arbitration or litigation.

It is important to reach for the contract when a dispute arises as it will give you advice about your legal position. However, Lyle Charles Consulting says that parties can look at different processes to resolve a dispute other than the ones highlighted in the contract.

Some parties look at partnering sessions guided by a facilitator. This process is a good option for parties that are addressing difficult technical, communication or relationship issues. Another good option is to get the advice of a well-respected expert or technical advisor to provide non-binding advice. Private mediation sessions are also similar to the above process but include a legal party who will guide the meeting.

A good way to handle disputes without guidance is to hold brainstorming sessions without any prejudices. Many of these sessions will start off with the signing of a simple agreement that states that all parties reserve their rights regarding the responsibility of the problem and that the solutions proposed do not amount to an admission.

Construction firms should understand that disputes cannot be avoided, but by providing policies and processes that create an environment that is reasonable, creative and open, legal disputes can be quick and include no legal proceedings.