Construction disputes can arise in projects big and small, from the installation of a new kitchen to the building of an Olympic site. They can be relatively simple or dauntingly complex, involving multiple parties and multiple different contracts. Quick, effective solutions and an understanding of the issues from a technical perspective are needed to ensure your dispute is resolved properly.
Disputes arise so readily in construction due to there being so many deadlines and specifications to meet. Add to the mix, sub-contractors and multiple suppliers and it’s easy to see how easily issues can arise.
To prevent and allay disputes, you need to ensure that all relevant contracts are crystal clear and watertight. While there may be extensions and other alterations to your project that you may be able to agree between you, unfortunately it may be the case that there is a point on which agreement isn’t possible – this is where the expert Dispute Resolution solicitors at Clifton Ingram come in.
Where a Dispute arises, our solicitors will look at the Dispute Resolution Clause in your construction contract (or contracts depending on the dispute) to see what means of resolution it stipulates. There a number of means of resolving disputes under construction or engineering disputes:
- Ask the Contract Administrator to make a decision. This person is usually named in the contract and is often the Architect, but could also be an employer or Surveyor.
- Negotiation, either over the telephone, via correspondence or through mediation ‘without prejudice’.
- Adjudication, which leads to a final and binding, certain decision.
- Arbitration where there is a genuine dispute of the type a court would entertain. This has traditionally been the main way construction disputes are resolved, but more and more litigation is being used as an option.
- Litigation in the courts. Most disputes will be dealt with by the specialist Technology and Construction Court.
While litigation may become necessary, where it is avoidable we will endeavour to avoid it and pursue alternative means of Dispute Resolution, like mediation. Clifton Ingram’s commercial outlook and specialist, bespoke approach means we will seek to find the most cost and time-efficient way of resolving your dispute.
In bigger disputes, it is necessary to establish who among the contractor, sub-contractor, architect or engineer is responsible for the claimant’s loss. A fast appraisal of what is often a large amount of documentation is called for and the solicitors at Clifton Ingram are experts in examining these documents to find the relevant information and apply it to the events that have occurred.
We have the expertise and experience to help resolve all disputes in this area and to do so as cost effectively as possible, because inevitably they can be document and time heavy and therefore expensive to conclude.
We can also advise on the special tax regime for contractors and self-employed sub-contractors in the construction industry. Employees in the construction industry should be dealt with under the normal PAYE system. We have many years’ experience in dealing with employment status issues and so we are well placed to advise you on your status and your rights.
Construction and Engineering Solicitors in our Wokingham, Reading and Farnham, Thames Valley and M3 Corridor offices
Our solicitors at Clifton Ingram can advise you on any aspect of a construction dispute and can handle your case swiftly and effectively. We are a highly experienced, proactive and down-to-earth team of solicitors; bringing a high quality and professional service to your local area.
We regularly advise clients across the South East, including Berkshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey, Wiltshire and London. Speak to one of our team today to see how we can help on 0808 164 1510. Our solicitors will move fast to find a solution personal to you.