Construction and engineering disputes tend to be technical and document heavy, but for me, navigating through those documents to piece together what has gone wrong in a project and then working to resolve the dispute is very rewarding.
Getting to know my clients, who include developers, employers and contractors, is vital so that I know their real objectives. I act in a wide range of disputes, helping clients to resolve issues including defective work, unpaid fees, adjudications and warranties
Outside work, I love travelling and experiencing different cultures.
If there is something you don’t understand at the drafting stage of a construction or engineering contact, make sure you get advice before you sign.
Continue to read your contract during the project and follow what it says.
If you are served with a Notice of Adjudication, do not delay, seek advice straight away.
What is an adjudication?
An adjudication in construction contacts is a procedure for resolving disputes in which a third party, the adjudicator, is appointed. The objective of adjudication is to reach a quick, fair and cost effective decision usually within a 28-day timeframe.
Why do construction disputes arise?
Disagreements are common between parties of a construction contract. They may arise because of delays on a project, lack of understanding of the terms of a contract or failure to administer the contract.
Whilst disagreements do not constitute a breach of contract, they may lead to one. It is important to try to minimise the possibility of disputes arising by ensuring you understand the contract, negotiate clauses that appear unclear, make sure schedules are realistic and plan for delays and disruptions. If you deal with issues as they arise, identify risks and seek advice, that will also help.
What is an expert determination?
Expert determination is a form of alternative dispute resolution which is used to resolve disputes of a specialist nature. An independent third party expert is appointed to decide the dispute; their decision is binding on the parties unless the parties agree otherwise at the outset.