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Tips for resolving construction disputes

On Behalf of | May 9, 2024 | Construction Law

Construction projects often involve various stakeholders, complex contracts and intricate processes, leading to potential disputes. Resolving these disputes efficiently is crucial to avoid project delays and financial losses.

The following are the key steps involved in navigating construction disputes effectively. That is, to say, most of the time.

Create a clear contract

All contracts need to be clear, comprehensive and unambiguous, outlining each party’s obligations, payment terms, scope of work and dispute resolution mechanisms.

Deal with a dispute head-on

Encourage open communication between parties to address issues promptly as they arise, preventing escalation into disputes. Work to create a collaborative environment where stakeholders work together to find mutually beneficial solutions.

Document and preserve evidence

Maintain detailed records of project communications, changes, delays and any other relevant information. Find a secure location to store documents, photos, emails, meeting minutes and other evidence that may be crucial in resolving disputes.

Use Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

Before litigation, consider trying to resolve a dispute with ADR:

  • Mediation: Facilitate negotiations with the assistance of a neutral mediator to help parties reach a voluntary settlement.
  • Arbitration: Submit the dispute to a neutral arbitrator or panel for a binding or non-binding decision, avoiding the formalities and delays of court litigation.

In many cases, these are more affordable and faster methods of resolving a construction dispute than litigation. With that said, there are times when litigation is the most effective option available.

Move on to litigation

Assess the potential risks, costs and time involved in pursuing litigation compared to alternative dispute resolution methods. If all other options fail, proceed with litigation while being mindful of preserving business relationships and project outcomes.

By following these steps, stakeholders can more effectively manage and resolve construction disputes, minimizing disruptions and preserving project integrity.