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18th November 2013

Be prepared

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Good preparation is the key to dealing with building projects and disputes, says Colin Jones, partner and construction specialist.

This is so both to help avoid disputes arising in the first place but also to deal effectively with a dispute and its adjudication if it does arise. One recent adjudication involving a charity demonstrated this very well.

If a charity undertakes a construction project, good preparation as to defining the charity’s requirements is essential, as is then translating those requirements into a building contract. The core of any properly prepared building contract should always be the defined details of what the client wants to be built, the specifications for finishes, the output requirements for the project and so on. If you are clear enough about what you want built, there is less scope for differences or disputes with the contractor.

If disputes do arise in relation to building contracts, then as a result of The Housing Grants, Construction & Regeneration Act 1996, the parties have a statutory right to refer disputes to adjudication. This involves a procedure under which the dispute will be legally determined by an independent adjudicator in just 28 days. The process is now the dominant method for dealing with disputes under building contracts or construction related professional appointments. It is fast track, so if faced with the prospect of an adjudication claim, ensure all of your contract documentation is in good order and take proper advice in good time.

In Colin’s recent charity adjudication, the quality of preparation was a major element in the success of the matter. The charity was clear as to what it wanted and this was reflected in the documents, and so when this did not transpire it was equally well able to deal with the adjudication which followed.

For further information, please contact Colin Jones 01223 461155 or click here to email Colin. For further information on our Construction Solicitors click here.