Contract rows take six months to settle

Grant Prior 13 years ago

Construction disputes are settled quicker in the UK than the rest of the world – despite taking more than six months to sort out.

Research by EC Harris revealed the average construction dispute in this country lasts 6.75 months from beginning to resolution.

That is quicker than the global average of 9.1 months and EC Harris said the relative speed was “primarily due to the use of statutory adjudication and collaborative forms of contract.”

The average value of disputes here is £4.6m compared to £21.4m worldwide.

The number of contract rows increased last year and EC Harris said the top five causes of conflict were:

  • A failure to properly administer the contract
  • Ambiguities in the Contract Documents
  • Failure to make interim awards on extensions of time and monetary relief
  • Incorrect contract selection when compared on a best fit with the project characteristics
  • Incomplete design information or Employer requirements (for design and build forms of contract)
  • Gary Kitt, Head of Contract Solutions, UK at EC Harris said: “Resolving these disputes represents an extremely expensive, time consuming and often unnecessary distraction for clients and contractors alike.

    “In an age of ever slimmer margins, the industry needs to focus far more attention on anticipating and preventing complex disputes in the first place and where disputes have already arisen, to resolving them swiftly and effectively, before they disrupt – or even jeopardise – construction projects.”

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