Samuel Okoronkwo

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The need for dispute resolution in the construction industry

The construction industry has become a complex web of stakeholders, contractors, subcontractors, clients and supplies. There are many moving parts that must be covered before, during and after the undertaking of construction projects. With the various participants involved, disputes are inevitable and often unavoidable.

Therefore the need for dispute resolution in the construction industry cannot be overstated. Of course, there are preventative measures that can be taken, such as:

● Clear contract documentation
● Effective communication
● Detailed project planning
● Regular monitoring and reporting

However, even with these preventive factors in place, there are any number of reasons disputes can occur; contract disagreements, delays, cost overruns, quality of work. Dispute resolution is crucial for projects to be completed on time and on budget, as well as for preserving professional relationships.

Contract Disagreements

It is vital that construction contracts are comprehensive, clear and absolute. The construction contract is at the centre of every successful or unsuccessful project. That is why they must be drawn up with particular skill and care, this does not just pertain to the type of contract deployed.

Crafting the salient terms and conditions of the contract will impact the timely and cost-effective delivery of the project. In cases of disputes, these contacts will act as a roadmap to resolution.

Communication Breakdowns

Clear communication channels must be established to safeguard the future of any construction projects. Miscommunication not only puts the fate of the project at risk but also those involved in its construction. Effective communication allows for issues that could lead to disputes to be addressed before they escalate.

The consequences of communication breakdowns can range from delays and incorrect completion of work to health and safety violations; all will potentially lead to costly and time-consuming dispute resolution if not handled appropriately.

Financial Conflicts

Late payments, unforeseen costs and inaccurate budget allocations are all conflicts that could lead to disputes. Financial disputes can significantly delay projects and potentially lead to contract terms not being fulfilled as a result, creating further issues.

It is essential that safeguards are drawn up in contacts that allow provisions for budget adjustments should this become necessary at any point.

Whatever the cause of the dispute, Mercantile Barristers can help you reach resolution. Our experienced Construction & Engineering Barristers are experts in all aspects of construction, technology and engineering law as it applies to employers, professional consultants, contractors and sub-contractors.

They are regularly asked to advise in contentious and non-contentious construction and engineering cases and have sound knowledge of the specialist panels and courts that they appear before.

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