Westminster APPG on ADR

  • By Joanne Pye
  • 01 Feb, 2017

30 January 2017

Committee Room 17 at the Palace of Westminster heard 6 speakers drawn from ADR providers discuss the latest developments in ADR 

The group gave an overview to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Alternative Dispute Resolution whose purpose is to help change the culture of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in the country.

The session was chaired by John Howell MP with other interested MPs including Bob Neil and Shadow Justice Minster Christina Rees in attendance.

The speakers included Graham Massie, CEO of CEDR speaking on the use of ADR in the NHS, John Pugh-Smith of 39 Essex Chambers speaking on planning and local government and M4C’s founder Chris Reeves speaking on ADR in the construction industry.

Chris made a number of points to the MPs including:

·         Construction output in the UK is more than £110 billion per annum and contributes 7% of GDP accounting for 3 million jobs (10% of the total UK employment) and therefore there was good reason to hear what he had to say about ADR in construction.

·         Whilst the industry is regularly criticised for being adversarial it was important that steps were taken to adopt a collaborative approach to dispute resolution.

·         If current Government strategy was to deliver £16 billion of efficiencies and extensive housing, then one area to consider was the saving to be made with adopting ADR.

·         The construction sector is unique in adopting adjudication (an adversarial form of “ADR”) but whilst the intent of the Latham Report was to introduce a quick and inexpensive method of dispute resolution, adjudication has become expensive, drawn out and litigious.

·         Adjudication has not reduced the number of disputes and it could be argued that it has fuelled a claims culture.

·         There is low use of mediation in the sector. Despite the encouragement of the courts to engage in pre-action conduct and mediate research reveals that only 13% of contractors and 9% of subbies had used mediation. This compares to 66% of main contractors in the USA.

·         There is a lack of detailed knowledge of mediation in the sector which goes some way to explain the obsession with adjudication. Research suggests that the use of mediation may increase by 35% if proper detailed level of awareness is raised.

·         In the context of public sector contracts there are potential barriers to mediating as it may challenge accountability for best value.

Chris invited the MPs to:

·         consider “championing” mediation and lending support to a recent initiative of Constructing Excellence South West to produce a guide to mediation.

·         Promote a robust mediation clause in public sector contracts; it is not sufficient to have a token reference to giving consideration to mediation as is often seen at present. Detailed provisions for agreement or in default appointment of a mediator and model procedures are needed.

In reply to a question from John Howell that advice from a city firm was that mediation may be more expensive than litigation Chris provided a robust response that the advice was highly questionable and that having himself spoken extensively to construction lawyers in London then mediation was cost effective.Chris referred to recent research from adjudicator nominating bodies that in terms of value groups the majority were in the value range £10,001 - £50,000and that mediation was widely available for around £750 per party plus the VAT. Chris was lent support by CEDR CEO Graham Massie and John Pugh-Smith who both expressed their strong views that mediation was by far more cost effective giving real examples.

Having gone from one lively discussion Chris then found time to see Boris Johnson answering questions in the house on Donald Trump’s immigration legislation then if that was not enough excitement for one day made his way through the protesters that had gathered in Parliament Square before heading home.

Chris commented “A very good session with the APPG and I remain hopeful that with the passion expressed by the speakers the enthusiasm will be carried through into seeing real efforts to raise awareness of mediation, not only in the construction industry but more widely in the UK”

Chris Reeves is a member of the M4C panel of mediators

All-Party Parliamentary Group on ADR

By Chris Reeves 27 Jun, 2017
Constructing Excellence South West have circulated news of the new Construction Mediation Guide and Protocol. The press release is here: http://www.constructingexcellencesw.org.uk/assets/newsletter/jul17/story3.htm  where a copy of the Guide can be downloaded
By Chris Reeves 07 Jun, 2017

Constructing Excellence South West, in collaboration with Mediation for Construction (M4C), has identified the need to highlight how mediation can and should be used to resolve disputes and Constructing Excellence South West has given its support and encouragement of the use of mediation as a process of resolving disputes.

To promote the greater use of mediation, a CESW Construction Mediation Guide and Protocol has been prepared by a drafting committee: Alan Tate (Trowers and Hamlins LLP), Chris Hoar (Michelmores LLP), Stephen Homer (Ashfords LLP) and our founder Chris Reeves. The Guide will be launched at the summit on 9 June 2017, details o which can be found here  

By Chris Reeves 06 Jun, 2017

Location: Reading, Berkshire

Date: Wednesday 4th July 2017

Event programme:

 09:00  Registration and welcome
 09:30  Speaker – Chris Reeves

  • Overview of mediation compared to other dispute resolution processes
  • The new edition of the Construction and Engineering Pre-Action Protocol
  • What the courts and civil procedure rules are saying about mediation/why mediate
  • Why mediate – the commercial reasons
  • The typical mediation process
 Lunch break
 13:45  Speaker – Elizabeth Repper

  • Practical tips on how to prepare for mediation and how to be a party at a mediation
  • Workshop of construction based scenarios to demonstrate how to approach a mediation
  • Conclusions and summaries
For booking please click here

By Chris Reeves 06 Jun, 2017

Join us for a very informative CPD event covering all the ins and outs of mediation in construction disputes:

What is mediation: an introduction to mediation

Why mediate: the factors as to why one would mediate as well as dispelling some common myths

When to mediate: the factors that affect the timing of when to mediate

Making the most of mediation: tips on how to make the most out of the process

How to encourage parties to mediate

Click here  for full details

Places are limited so booking is essential at: events@m4c.org.uk

By Blog Admin 13 Apr, 2017

Special guest:

Jackie Gregory-Stevens FRICS MCIArb CEnv

Head of Commercial - Major Projects - Babcock International Group

17:30 to 19:30 on 16 May 2017

2hrs CPD

By Joanne Pye 06 Apr, 2017
M4C panel member Elizabeth Repper discusses recent commentary from the Courts on when to mediate and sanctions for not getting on with a proposal to mediate. A link to Elizabeth’s article can be found here:

By Joanne Pye 05 Apr, 2017
Readers will probably be aware that one of the issues that often arises in construction disputes regarding extensions of time is the issue of who owns the contractor's float in his programme. Contractors invariably include a contingency period in their programme of works. This can be either a contingency specific to a particular item on the programme or a general contingency, for example the last two weeks of the programme prior to the contractual completion date. Stephen Homer talks us through how this works under NEC3.

When a contractor applies for an extension of time the architect will often look to use the float to mitigate the delay caused by relevant events. The contractor will often be of the view that the architect is not entitled to do this as the contractor placed the float in his programme for his own use. The contractor will argue that the delay should be measured from the contractual completion date rather than the beginning of the float period.

When considering this issue, the first place to look for guidance is in the contract itself. Although unusual, it is possible for the contract to stipulate how the contractor's float should be used in these circumstances. However, the JCT and PPC 2000 contracts are silent as to contractor's float.

The NEC contract on the other hand stipulates that the programme to be provided by the contractor is to identify float, planned completion and contractual completion dates together with other information.

Whilst under most forms of contract extensions of time are to be measured from the contractual completion date, this is not the case under NEC. Clause 63.3 of the NEC3 Contract states that a delay to the completion date is assessed as the length of time that, due to the compensation event, planned completion is later than shown on the accepted programme. Where the contractor's programme shows planned completion 2 weeks earlier than the contractual completion date with 2 weeks float then it is the planned completion date from which delays are measured in granting an extension of time and the contractor keeps the benefit of the last two weeks float period in his programme.

If, on the other hand, float is shown as apportioned to various items of works programmed to take place prior to the planned completion date then this float will be dealt with in the same way as the float under JCT contracts. Whilst every case turns on its facts, the general rule here is that unless the float has already been used by contractor delay, the contract administrator can use the float to mitigate the effect of relevant events (although there has been judicial commentary that if there is then some later delay event, for which the contractor would not be entitled to an extension of time, the architect should then grant an extension for the period of float used previously to mitigate an earlier relevant event). In this way the contractor is not permanently deprived of his float.

Stephen Homer is a Partner at Ashfords.This article was origninally published on the NEC - Adjudicators Website
By Joanne Pye 20 Mar, 2017
M4C are pleased to support this event and our founder Chris Reeves will be speaking on the programme.

If you want more information or want to make a booking please go to the event here:   Bevan Brittan Mediation in Practice
By Joanne Pye 15 Mar, 2017

Date: 22 March 20017

Time: 8.15am - 9.30am - breakfast bacon rolls, tea and coffee will be provided

Address: Woodwater House, Pynes Hill, Exeter EX2 5WR

The event will be of particular interest to architects, quantity surveyors, engineers, project managers, building owners and managers, contractors and sub-contractors as well as construction lawyers and claims consultants. 

If you are able to join us, please contact a member of our team to confirm your place by calling:

0203 411 4425 or email admin@m4c.org.uk

By Joanne Pye 10 Mar, 2017

Simon Henderson:   “I am delighted to be joining this exciting new organisation. Although mediation has become increasingly popular in recent years, it is still under-used in the construction world where traditional forms of dispute resolution are often seen as the first rather than the last option. I am confident that M4C can play an important role in changing this culture and by doing so, M4C can provide real assistance to all those involved in the construction industry to achieve cost-effective solutions which benefit all parties to disputes. I am greatly looking forward to contributing to this change.”

Chris Reeves, Founder of M4C:  
“The news that Simon decided to join Mediation for Construction has been welcomed by everyone. Simon is a fantastic and exciting addition to our unique group of highly respected accredited construction lawyers and I look forward to the benefits that Simon’s knowledge and experience brings to not only our group but also our clients".


Simon was called to the bar in 1993 and has been a barrister at 4 Pump Court since completing his pupillage there in 1994. He specialises in construction and technology law and related professional negligence and commercial work. He is CEDR-accredited and part of CEDR’s UK Mediator Panel. Read more ...
More Posts
Share by: