Dispute Avoidance, Management and Resolution
Disagreements between the parties to a contract are not uncommon in all kinds of services and construction environments, PFI is no exception. Disagreements and potential disputes can emerge from any number of areas, including:-
- Design and/or construction
- Quality of FM service provision
- Maintenance and lifecycle
- Performance monitoring and reporting
- Defects and defects resolution
- Obligations and rights at Handback.
The key to avoiding, managing and resolving disputes is to be armed with the facts: the rights and obligations of the parties, the causes of the disagreement/dispute, the positions of the parties, the performance and behaviour of the parties, the risks, the notices issued, etc.
Getting those facts and a balanced view of the situation is not straight forward but is imperative, particularly when the consequences of running the wrong argument or taking the wrong action or misunderstanding the risks can be substantial.
This area is one that is at the core of Blake Newport’s service offerings. We work across multiple sectors – construction, engineering, technology, outsourced services – as well as PFI. We have expertise and experience in a number of different forms of dispute resolution, including: Mediation, Adjudication, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Arbitration and Litigation.
A summary of Blake Newport’s services is available below with further information available here. You can also contact us for further information and an initial discussion.
Obtaining a truly objective and impartial view can be difficult where any review is carried out by an interested party or organisation. Engaging an independent third party to undertake an objective review of any matter can be immensely beneficial. That party is not influenced by relationships, historic actions and issues or any other factors that may influence the conclusions of the review.
Armed with this objective perspective, next steps can be taken based on information and facts rather than emotion and perception. Informed risk assessment and management, decision making, strategic planning and subsequent actions are far more likely to be effective and result in a better outcome.
The best form of dispute management is to avoid the dispute in the first place, or at least identify an issue early and tackle it to avoid it becoming more contentious or developing into a formal dispute.
Blake Newport has significant experience and expertise in assisting clients to understand the strengths and weaknesses of their position, the drivers of other parties and the risks faced; advising on the best course of action to avoid a formal dispute and to support the client through any discussions or negotiation to resolve the issue before it escalates.
Where a disagreement / dispute has arisen, the approach to its management can be the difference between a managed solution or finding yourself locked into a formal process with all the associated costs, disruption and risk. Blake Newport is able to give early reasoned expert advice on the actions needed to be taken, allowing parties to make an early-action risk assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of their cases and to consider the form of resolution process best suited to their resources and positions. We can work as Independent Experts or as an advocate of the client’s case working alongside the client’s team in support of its Lawyers and Experts to manage, prepare and present the various documents required for dispute resolution.
Once in a formal dispute, Blake Newport provides a range of services to support a client through the resolution process. Blake Newport has a wealth of experience and expertise within the business in various forms of dispute resolution processes. Further information of our expertise and the forms of dispute resolution Blake Newport can support is available here.