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
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
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
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:
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”
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
Location: Reading, Berkshire
Date: Wednesday 4th July 2017
|09:00||Registration and welcome|
|09:30|| Speaker – Chris Reeves
|13:45|| Speaker – Elizabeth Repper
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: email@example.com
Jackie Gregory-Stevens FRICS MCIArb CEnv
Head of Commercial - Major Projects - Babcock International Group
17:30 to 19:30 on 16 May 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 firstname.lastname@example.org