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August 19, 2020

Michael Gerard presents to the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE)

This year, Michael was pleased to be invited to present at the Wales & North West Conference of CABE, the professional body for the building engineering industry.  The event, originally scheduled for March, was postponed until September, but when it became clear that date could not go ahead either because of the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, organisers moved it to March 2021.

Michael is very much looking forward to presenting at CABE in 2021 when hopefully restrictions will be relaxed sufficiently for the event to proceed. In the meantime, this month (August 2020) he was delighted to deliver a webinar to some 150 delegates online on the subject of Dispute Resolution and Avoidance in Construction Contracts.

Introducing methods of dispute resolution

As disputes are (unfortunately) a fact of life in the construction industry, Michael’s presentation was designed to introduce professionals to the numerous methods of resolution, all of which can be categorised as either litigation or alternative dispute resolution (ADR).

 The webinar focused on the ADR processes of mediation and adjudication as these are, by far, the most common methods of ADR in the construction and engineering industry. The presentation also highlighted the pre-litigation process of the Pre-Action Protocol, which is all but mandatory before issuing court proceedings, of which can result in an ADR solution rather than litigation.

Michael talked delegates through the processes that the parties are procedurally obliged to go through in either ADR or litigation, from the beginning, through to resolution.

The pros and cons

The presentation compared methods of dispute resolution in terms of speed, expense, confidentiality and method of enforcement. Michael also stressed the importance of using certain ADR methods whenever possible as opposed to expensive, stressful and time-consuming methods such as arbitration and litigation.

Dispute resolution in the wake of Covid-19

Unfortunately, the recession created by the pandemic is already causing an increase of insolvencies in all industries, including construction and engineering. This in turn will cause an increase in dispute resolution, so as the webinar pointed out, it is now more important than ever for engineering and construction professionals and contracting parties to avoid disputes by putting good quality contract documentation in place and ensure good cash flow is maintained, as well as making themselves aware of their options should a dispute become unavoidable.

This complex area of the law was illustrated by several real-life cases.

Positive feedback

The webinar proved to be extremely engaging, resulting in over twenty questions from attendees seeking further clarification on their own situations. In feedback, Michael was praised for an informative and well put together introduction to construction contracts dispute resolution.

“I thoroughly enjoyed presenting to CABE,” says Michael. “I am very much looking forward to delivering further webinars and to presenting in person in 2021.”

Expert dispute resolution advice

If you require information on how Michael Gerard Solicitors can help you negotiate a construction or engineering dispute, please call 01858 414 290 or email enquiries@mg-law.co.uk.