Blake Newport

Firms Told to Stay out of Trouble

Contract Journal - 07/02/2007

Commercial and contract management construction consultant Blake Newport is urging industry to consider its options before entering into litigation. Its comments come in response to a recent survey by Pinsent Masons that revealed that over half of UK construction firms have faced the threat of court action in the last 12 months.

"On average there are approximately 600 construction related disputes concurrent at any one time, including arbitration, adjudication, and litigation," says Greg Brownlee, Managing Director at Blake Newport. "But companies are failing to consider the impact of this upon time, cost, and moreover reputation. Litigation is not the only solution - in fact around 80% of the time we are calling legal teams in unnecessarily."

With the majority of industry disputes centering around time and cost constraints, quantity surveyors can often offer a more appropriate course of action the consultant claims.

"The problem is all too often an avoidable one, and yet we are still falling into the age-old trap of failing to understand our contractual requirements" comments Brownlee. "There are some simple steps that industry can take to avoid disputes, or if they do occur to address them effectively. Creating an inclusive working environment; putting a clear dispute resolution strategy in place at the outset; understanding and considering your options before contacting the lawyers; and an investment upfront in robust contract management can all play their part. Companies failing to invest now in these areas will find themselves paying for it later."

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