Arbitration Support

Viviad assist their clients by providing their expertise during arbitration proceedings.

Arbitration is another form of Alternative Dispute resolution available to parties of the construction contract. It is an ADR tool that is very similar to adjudication based in the United Kingdom on the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 (HGRA). However, arbitral award, is final and conclusively determines the dispute between parties to the construction contract. Determination of dispute via this process is final and is obtained through a consensual process and a process that is contractual.

The dispute is resolved by an arbitrator who is an independent third party or an arbitral panel that is selected directly by the parties to the dispute from a panel of a given arbitral institution or organisation. The resolution of the dispute is final and there are very restrictive and limited ways in which an appeal can be sought. The process can only be initiated if the construction contract or engineering contract contain arbitration clause and the clause is valid so as to form a binding arbitration agreement in line with the Arbitration Act 1996. The agreement in other jurisdictions can be verbal. However, all leading construction contracts such as JCT or NEC3 or NEC4 usually contain arbitration clauses. In the last decade it is typical to refer a dispute to litigation rather than arbitration.

Arbitration is normally initiated with the so-called notice to concur which starts the process and sets the ground for appointment of arbitrator or arbitral panel – either by the parties to the construction contract or by a nominating body. Sometimes it can be combined or run in parallel to other ADR methods such as mediation or adjudication.

A major advantage of this method of dispute resolution is that it is private and no records of any proceedings are available to the public. The arbitrator can be a specialist in the matter that is giving rise to the dispute. In the past arbitration was also a speedy process. Currently, arbitration and litigation are similarly time consuming. That being said, all depends on the way the proceedings are conducted.