dispute avoidance


The construction industry is notorious for the prevalence of arguments and disputes on construction projects. As your business grows and embarks on more projects, litigation becomes a real risk. Even when you do everything right, problems remain on construction projects.


Cost and payment issues, variations, programme delays or ambiguity in the project specifications can all give rise to disputes. The adversarial nature of the industry and a misunderstanding of the distribution of risks in construction contracts create fertile grounds for disputes to fester.


Each dispute on average costs several thousands of pounds in legal costs and lasts several months.

A dispute can destabilise the best-planned cash flow; cause maximum anxiety; damage relationships; inhibit business growth and in many cases lead to insolvency and demise of the business.


Few Employers and even fewer Contractors and Sub-Contractors take pre-emptive steps to avoid these disputes. In our experience, the cost of obtaining timely proactive legal advice that helps in avoiding a dispute is only a fraction of the legal costs spent when a dispute arises.


A CBI and Oxford Economics report published in February 2021 found that the UK construction industry spent £1.27bn last year on legal services. This is 1.6% of all procurement spend and twice the level seen across the UK economy as a whole




Construction disputes



Adjudication, Arbitration, Litigation



Thousands of pounds in legal expenses

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Business disruption and damaged cashflow 

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Anxiety, physical and mental health problems



Damaged personal and business relationships



Inhibited business growth and loss of profits

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Personal and / or business insolvency


Mercantile Barristers have developed a Construction Disputes Avoidance Protocol
for Employers, Contractors and Sub-Contractors designed to save substantial
legal expenses.

As part of the plan, you will get 1-1 expert construction legal consultation, that will
interrogate your existing Operational systems to identify areas of legal and
financial vulnerability and risks; and then provide advice and guidance to enable
you reduce and possibly eliminate:

Costs Risks

Cost overruns and payment difficulties on construction contracts;

time risks

Programme delays and failure to achieve practical completion dates on construction contracts;

quality risks

Ambiguity in specifications, quality
control and late availability of
working drawings


overall contractual risks

We will guide you to do it right. Even if the paperwork is not watertight, we will prepare you to be ready.

Most businesses only seek legal advice and representation when a dispute has arisen and they have a crisis on their hands. This is imprudent because legal costs incurred dealing with a dispute are multiples of the legal expenses spent in timely advice to avoid that dispute.


Legal expenses are unavoidable and failure to seek early legal advice at a lower cost invariably leads to substantially increased legal costs when a dispute arises. For example, £100,000 of litigation costs could be avoided with as little as £5,000 – £10,000 cost of early legal advice.

Working with one of our specialist construction Barristers, we will assist you to identify gaps and weaknesses in your existing processes, systems and contractual arrangements. Our Barrister will then guide you to make the necessary changes to ensure that you are better prepared to avoid disputes wherever possible. Should a dispute however become inevitable, then you would have been better prepared for mediation, adjudication, arbitration or litigation than you would otherwise have been.


You will get 2 hours per month with one of our specialist construction Barristers to work through the 12 areas of recurrent problems in construction projects.


Working with our specialist construction Barrister, you will be guided through a process to help you close the gaps in your construction
management/business process that present legal and financial risks to your business.


Each month, Mercantile Barristers will dedicate up to 2 hours of a specialist Barristers time to consulting, advising and guiding you to implement necessary Dispute Avoidance Protocol actions depending on your specific needs.


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Direct access to a specialist construction law Barrister for consultation, advice and guidance

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Peace of mind and preservation of physical and mental health

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Reduced risk of construction/
commercial disputes

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Avoidance of the risk of personal and/or business insolvency.

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Substantial savings in legal expenses

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Enhanced business growth and profitability potential

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Business continuity and preserved cash flow

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Preservation of personal and business relationships


    020 3034 0077 


    We do not undertake legal aid work, free consultations nor work on a no win, no fee basis.