Dispute Avoidance and Resolution
Given their complexity and time-sensitive nature, few construction projects today are entirely ‘dispute free’. Contractual disputes can be time-consuming and costly to resolve. Accordingly, it preferable to attempt to avoid disputes arising or to resolve any disagreements before they escalate into formal disputes.
Dispute avoidance seeks to resolve potential conflicts or disagreements that arise by meeting some of the needs of each party and addressing some of the interests they may have.
Methods which can be adopted to facilitate dispute avoidance include building a rapport between the parties, considering each parties’ position and interests separately and promoting an environment that minimises confrontation.
Given that the value of construction disputes and the attendant legal and professional costs can be significant, the avoidance of disputes where possible is particularly important. Often the possibility of disputes occurring can be mitigated by a thorough review of the key project risks at the pre-contract or pre-tender stage.
An objective and impartial audit of the project at any early stage can identify potential problems which can be monitored throughout the course of the works and manageable mechanisms put in place to ensure that the potential risks are minimised.
However, from time to time disputes are unavoidable. When such disputes do arise it is essential that they are resolved as expeditiously and cost-effectively as possible to ensure that key project personnel are not distracted from their primary objectives of project completion and delivery.
Aspect Asia specialises in the provision of expert advice in respect of the avoidance, management, prosecution and defence of construction disputes and is able to assist with the implementation of appropriate strategies related to project delay and cost issues in the event that they escalate into disputes.
The common forms of dispute resolution includes negotiation, mediation, adjudication, arbitration and litigation.
Aspect Asia is able to assist throughout the process by providing the following services:
A DRAd/DARA jointly appointed by the Employer and Contractor is often utilised on Government construction projects in Hong Kong as a form of non-binding dispute resolution that seeks to avoid disputes and resolve any disputes that do arise speedily rather than at the end of the project, which often creates tension and results in adversarial working relationships.
Aspect Asia’s experienced dispute resolution practitioners have been appointed as DRAd/DARA on a number of projects in Hong Kong. The role usually extends to the following: