Alternative dispute resolution in the construction and engineering industry
There are a number of forms of alternative dispute resolution available to parties that are in dispute. The most common procedures in the construction and engineering industry are:
Mediation can be carried out at any time during the dispute process and is usually a day-long negotiation which involves the appointment of an independent third party ‘mediator’. In nearly all mediations we have been involved in the parties have resolved their dispute therefore saving the parties further time and costs. Settlement can however only usually be achieved if the parties are genuinely resolved to settle the dispute; if they are not, settlement is unlikely.
Negotiation is the simplest form of alternative dispute resolution and can be carried out by letter, email, telephone, Skype or face-to-face. By the time solicitors have been instructed the parties will usually have already exhausted their ‘negotiation strategy’ and require ‘supported’ negotiation from us.
Early Neutral Evaluation
Early Neutral Evaluation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that is used in construction and engineering disputes more than most other areas of law. The principle is relatively simple, albeit it is a complicated process; both parties submit their agreed information to a nominated ‘evaluator’ who will provide a non-binding evaluation on the respective merits of each parties’ case. Each parties can use this information to decide whether their current direction is correct or whether they should adopt an alternative approach which may elicit settlement discussions.