Specialist Techniques for Construction Dispute Resolution: How Many Ways Can the Cat Be Skinned?
Parties to construction and infrastructure projects have been at the forefront of developing and/or adopting a range of dispute avoidance and resolution measures: partnering, dispute boards, adjudication, expedited (or ‘fast-track’) arbitration, and mediation. Closer analysis reveals that preferences vary according to region, as does the take-up of such initiatives.This article looks at what methods have worked in the Gulf, and what other techniques might usefully be deployed. Some methods, like partnering and expedited arbitration, may have been advocated previously with mixed results.The article contends that this was not because of some inherent unsuitability, but because the time was not right. The article looks at a new partnering initiative, discusses dispute boards and adjudication, and considers the continued roll-out of expedited procedures by arbitral institutions (including the new ICC Rules, effective as from March 2017).The article explains how innovative and creative dispute resolution techniques might usefully be applied in the context of Gulf mega-projects.