Construction law folder

Construction Negotiation

What is construction dispute negotiation?

This involves dealing directly with the opposing party; that means communicating with the other side without a tribunal or court. This can be done by you or an appointed representative (such as us).

Negotiation can be a good first step. It starts with you approaching the other side with details of the matter in disputes and the issues that are in contention, and suggestions for how it can be sorted out. However, it does need full co-operation of the other side.

The process is not binding although negotiation can be incorporated into the contract from the outset. In addition, any agreement reached as the result of negotiations can be the subject of a written Settlement Agreement, which could then be enforced by the court should the other side breach any part of the agreement.

Most disagreements can be solved through negotiation.

Expert construction negotiators

As expert commercial negotiators, Michael Gerard & Co. can offer negotiation as either an initial step or part-way through an existing resolution process with the objective to achieve settlement.

When appointed to represent a party we will always enquirer whether it is possible and / or suitable to negotiate. There are two primary reasons for this approach. The first is that if the dispute is resolved as a result of our submissions and negotiations, the dispute would have been resolved in a most economically way. The second is that negotiation can also have a strategic value in that it can help identify what the real issues are and the strength of the case of each side.

There is another reason that some lawyers advocate, that is the submissions made in attempting to resolve the dispute could ensure that the claim has been properly and fully canvassed, so where negotiations break down or there is no response, it follows a dispute has ‘crystallised’ that can be referred to adjudication or arbitration etc. However, this is only correct where the negations are not entered into on a without prejudice basis, which in our experience, most negotiations are without prejudice.

We have an outstanding rate of success in negotiating settlements, and we hope that you will be part of that success.