As someone who practices as a Construction Adjudicator I've encountered my share of conflicts and disagreements. However it's not the disputes themselves that define us; it's how we go about resolving them.
Instead of getting entangled in legal battles that can stretch out for weeks, months or even years why not consider a more collaborative, efficient and cost effective approach, This is where Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) comes into play.
ADR offers methods for resolving disputes by putting an emphasis on finding common ground and reaching mutual agreements. It focuses on the business side of things encouraging empathy, understanding and compromise instead of enduring prolonged court proceedings at great cost in time and money to both parties.
Based on my experiences acting as a mediator, arbitrator and adjudicator I've seen that alternative dispute resolution (ADR) not only saves time and money but also helps maintain relationships. It allows adversaries to shift their mindset from opposition to collaboration as they work together to find solutions. The goal is not about winning or losing but about finding a way forward. While litigation can leave wounds ADR fosters a sense of healing.
So let us choose building bridges instead of walls, dialogue over silence and progress over stagnation. Here's to a future where we prioritise resolving rather than resorting to litigation.
Now lets delve deeper into the realm of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), within the construction industry.
ADR serves as a toolkit, for resolving disputes providing methods such as mediation, arbitration and adjudication. Each approach is designed to suit different situations and conflicts.
In mediation a neutral third party assists in facilitating a conversation between the conflicting parties. It's a non binding process that empowers the parties involved to retain control over the outcome. It's not about who's in the right or who's in the wrong nor focusing on assigning blame, but about understanding each others point of view and finding common ground to move forth on.
The route of arbitration follows a formal structure. An arbitrator or panel of arbitrators renders a binding decision after considering the arguments and evidence presented by all parties involved. This private and confidential process ensuring that disputes are handled discreetly thus safeguarding the reputations of the companies/persons involved.
Adjudication, which happens to be my specialist area offers an efficient and frugal method for dispute resolution. An adjudicator provides a prompt and practical determination on a dispute to keep construction projects moving forward smoothly. If necessary this decision can be further revisited in arbitration or litigation proceedings.
While litigation often involves high costs, public exposure and strained relationships among parties involved ADR provides an opportunity to resolve conflicts privately with less costs and confrontation. It cultivates an environment of cooperation and mutual respect - which is important in an industry as collaborative as the built environment.
When a dispute arises in the future keep in mind that there are routes to resolving the dispute besides going to court. Consider utilising Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) as a way to make progress and find a resolution.