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Dispute Resolution


Kingfisher can either commence or defend adjudication or arbitration proceedings for employers, contractors and sub contractors or represent them in mediations and before Dispute Resolution Boards (DRB’s).

Adjudication can be statutory under the Housing Grants Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 (as amended) or contractual. It is regarded as a “quick fix” or “rough and ready” method of dispute resolution where the decision can often be obtained within 28 days from commencement but it does depend on the complexity of the issues. Whilst it is far from a perfect system to establish strict contractual rights and obligations it can assist cash flow and that is why it is popular with contractors and sub contractors in respect of payment disputes. The process is adversarial and the decision is not final and can be challenged by way of arbitration or court action but any decision made by the adjudicator for payment must, generally, be met until overturned by further action in court or arbitration.

Arbitration has been described as litigation in private and is a judicial process giving finality to a dispute. It is similar to court and is frequently adversarial although can be inquisitorial but under the Arbitration Act 1996 procedures can be flexible and has the benefit the arbitrator will be an experienced practitioner in the subject matter of the dispute.

Mediation and conciliation is non adversarial and can lead to a negotiated amicable settlement but has the drawback that unmeritorious claims can be lodged in the hope that the defendant will make an offer just to settle the dispute, the “blackmail scenario”. Is considered by many to be a costly waste of time and only participate because it is sometimes a pre-requisite before other methods can be commenced. Needs skilled and experienced management but can lead to a cost effective resolution where the parties can maintain their business relationship.

Quantum meruit is a restitutionary remedy and often used as the basis of assessing a parties entitlement where there is no formal contract or work has been carried out under a letter of intent which has expired without a contract having been formalised. It means “what it is worth” and ensures that a contractor receives payment where they have no contractual entitlement. Frequently the rates used are less than generous so be careful and get the contract formalised before starting.

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Kingfisher Associates (Consultancy) Ltd : PO Box 64 : Teignmouth : TQ14 8XL     Tel.07970 873411 : Fax.0871 211 3472 Web Site Design Company : eCommerce Software Shopping Cart Solutions