Services - Dispute Avoidance

Contract Dispute Solutions has extensive and invaluable experience in advising on appropriate strategies to assist in avoiding disputes. The Expert View below expresses some thoughts on how disputes can be avoided and along with continued dialogue may form a workable framework that will assist in avoiding disputes.

Expert View:

"Transparency throughout the entire contract process saves time, boosts profit and assists in avoiding disputes."

Resolving contract claims is a time consuming and costly business. Any organisation may have several contracts in dispute at any one time. Retrospectively looking at claims rather than concentrating on matters ahead is detrimental to the project and the business as a whole, not to mention the hidden costs involved in a dispute resolution process, such as staff time and health, which could last up to two years or longer. As such dispute avoidance is the best way forward.

There is ever increasing pressure to achieve cost, delivery and profit certainty in both capital and operational expenditure investment. The resolution of contract claims through proper and appropriate claims preparation, defence, rebuttal and preparation of counter-claims is one of the key factors that dictate the likely success of a project and ultimately overall business performance.

It is probably fair to say that, for many, the consideration of contract claims only starts when the project is completed, costs become apparent and losses crystallised or a claim is presented, bringing to mind stable doors and bolting horses! Quite simply consideration at this time is too late and may prove to be more costly and damaging to the project and the business.

Transparency will manage risk and assist in avoiding disputes

With transparency as part of the contract model organisations can ensure that risks are properly managed. What is more is that both the employer based organisation and the contractor need to understand the full liabilities and the final costs and how those liabilities and final costs have arisen.

Most engagement models include provisions for additional cost claims and extensions to delivery dates and, even if the model does not contain such provisions, other rights not expressly stated in the engagement model may subsist in specific jurisdictions such as inflation costs, damages etc. As such there is almost an invitation given to make such claims.

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