Construction projects can involve significant investment, time and commitment. There is plenty of scope for things to go wrong and for disputes to arise.
Very often, disputes arise during the course of a project. With an ongoing project, it is key to ensure that the continuing relationship is not hindered by the dispute. It is crucial therefore, that the most appropriate legal action is taken to resolve the dispute quickly. We will advise you of the options available, including court proceedings, arbitration, adjudication, expert determination and mediation.
The nature of disputes can vary widely, including:
- Defects with work done
- Insolvency of a party
- Failure to pay monies due, during or at the end of a contract
- Changes to and valuation of these changes and variations
- When to down tools
- Warranty claims
Preventative measures can be taken to help avoid disputes by having clear terms agreed at the outset and ensuring that any variations are documented clearly. Alternatively, the parties may have entered into a standard JCT form of contract or a written contract governed by the Adjudication procedure as set out in the Housing Grants Construction and Regeneration Act 1996.
In addition, the parties should now comply with the pre-action protocol applying to construction and engineering disputes. You can view the protocol at www.justice.gov.uk.
We can assist in advising how best to pursue or protect your position or reach a commercial settlement of your dispute. We regularly advise clients on the need to use the pre-action meetings as set out in the protocol. We can also assist with other aspects of development, including acquisition and sale of the site and advice on issues regarding your workforce.