Construction and Conflict Resolution

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Table of Contents

Executive Summary 3

Construction and Conflict Resolution 5

Key dispute facts 5

The problems arising from the case are this: 5

Possible use of mediation, adjudication to resolve the dispute 5

Possible Use of Mediation 7

Use of Adjudication 8

The advantages of adjudication include 8

Recommendations for a Way Forward 11

Bibliography 13


Executive Summary


Construction is different from the manufacturing where same goods will be produced numerous times. Construction never allows variable change while holding the remaining fixed so that its effects can be studied, the construction nature creates conflicts among owners, contractors, and design professionals. This paper will examine the key disputes of the case at hand (between DD td and CC td) which are degenerating to conflicts. The paper will further look into the possible use of mediation and adjudication and how they can be can help in resolving the mentioned case. Lastly, the paper will give a recommendation that can be implemented by the two parties to ensure that the issue is resolved within the shortest period of time. 


Construction and Conflict Resolution


Key dispute facts


DD ltd was appointed for purposes of refurbishing a shopping complex in Nottingvile city center by CC developments Ltd at the beginning of January 2017. The contract was supposed to end in December 2018. 

The problems arising from the case are this:


  • Heated arguments as a result of late changes
  • Some of the shops have been completed on time, but several units are incomplete
  • Completed units have defects (snags)
  • DD ltd claims that the client CC Ltd is overambitious with regards to the quality finish and that all satisfaction of contract were met
  • CC provided incomplete and vague instructions thus behaved unprofessionally 

Possible use of mediation, adjudication to resolve the dispute


The construction industry is always known for high levels of disputes and conflicts between owners, contractors and design professionals. Construction is always based on the project meaning that every project will be unique. Within the life cycle of the projector, numerous separate firms are involved. The failure by a single party may affect the other participants engaged in the project since work takes a significant time during which economic circumstances may change; it is simply not possible to avoid disputes. 

From the scenario at hand, it should not surprise that techniques of dispute resolution an conflict management in the construction industry are more common and well established. Conflict may be managed probably to a point where one can prevent it from degenerating into disputes. Disputes will require resolution and it is normally linked with the unique justifiable issue. 

Conflict management can be defined as a context exiting between an individual with opposing ideas, beliefs, needs, goals, and values. In a team it conflict is unavoidable; however the conflict results are not usually determined, conflict may lead to the unproductive results and it may be resolved beneficially leading to final quality products. 

As such, understanding how to manage conflicts is critical to a better performing team. Conflicts arise because of lack of the communication between the parties with regards to their beliefs, values, ideas, and others. Conflict management is a principle, which entails that every conflict may not be resolved consequentially, but understanding how conflict is managed may reduce the nonproductive escalation odds. Conflict management should involve obtaining skills, which are related to the conflict resolution, conflict communication skills, conflict modes self-awareness, and the establishment of a conflict management structure in the environment. 

Possible Use of Mediation 


Mediation is simply defined as the form of ADR with different parties inviting a mediator to resolve the disputes. It is just intervention by a third party for purposes of assisting to dispute parties so that they can reach a settlement. It is a non-binding voluntary process where a neutral party or a mediator helps in guiding the parties towards a beneficial solution. The mediator will help the parties to decide whether the will settle specific terms. In the DD Ltd and CC Ltd case,  mediator is not going to impose a decision not try to judge the case at hand; skills of the mediator help parties to escape trying to demonstrate how they are right, instead, emphasis will be placed on problem solution. The mediator is going to help the two parties reach a settlement by focusing on what should be done instead of wasting time pointing the blame. Mediation shall help the parties involved enough control over the way their difference or dispute of opinion is always dealt with and even over the outcome. In case of negotiation as explained fails, there is an alternative to pursue litigation.

Moreoevr, the mediator shall help in breaking the barriers and even pulling commonalities. In such context, mediation should be regarded as effective, non-threatening in settling or suppressing a construction dispute. Therefore, mediation is critical to be used since its settlement achievements prospects are a win-win situation, mutually satisfying, flexible, confidential, voluntary, and cost-effective. A settlement will have to be agreed upon and if need be, a contract can be drawn so that the settlement terms may be legally binding.

The disadvantage of mediation is that parties are always free to leave the process is they think it is unproductive. Such might jeopardize the efforts of arriving at a settlement in this case. 

Use of Adjudication


Adjudication is a decision-making process that involved a neutral third party. The neutral party has the authority of determining a binding solution through a judgment for an award. It is meant for disputes, which may hold up cash flow by simply obtaining an impartial third party while the contract is still going on. 

Generally, construction provides clients a great flexibility, changes are unavoidable and as such there will be changes in program and price. Such breeds disputes and if not managed efficiently, it degenerates to conflict and every other aspect in project is going to suffer. The adjudicator will identify dodgy claim quickly and project is not going to be managed by poor relations. 

The advantages of adjudication include 

Cost effect

The parties will split the cost of a credentialed adjudicator who will decide the dispute after researching the law zealously and facts withheld from legal staff experts. Intelligent justice will inform the parties of the cots at the start of the process and payment will be made in monthly installments, which are capped. 

Time reduced

Adjudication immediately commences with an analysis of the available laws and evidence identification, which supports the positions of the parties to the dispute at hand, adjudicators, shall examine a material witness under an oath. 

Adjudicator’s experience

Jointly, the parties approve the adjudicator selection in advance. Intelligent justice removes the uncertainty and risks which occurs when jurors and judges with unknown backgrounds, qualifications, abilities, and biases are used deciding complex legal disputes in the court system. The verdict can be confirmed quickly as enforceable court judgment or it may be applied by the agreement of the party and applicable law. 

A claim may be issued against the company that was contracted DD Ltd and the original builders who worked on the project for providing low quality work, which made the client suffer. The defendant (the client) might accept that there were some problems with instructions or deny that instructions or information given to the contractor was clear. 

Clients did not provide detailed information on interior finishes for units of the shops. It will crucial to determine whether it is true that the client did not give full information with regards to interior finishes. DD TD will be forced to provide evidence to back the claim that the client was negligent when agreeing to the contract. It will be easy if the facts were detailed in a written contract between DD developments Ltd and CC development Ltd. a mediator will be in a position to understand whether the DD Ltd. is honest to say that he did his work perfectly. Even if that is the case, the mediator may claim that DD ltd could have carried out a feasibility study and advised the client accordingly, s a professional. 

An experienced professional contractor should have estimated clearly estimated the amount of material and time needed to finish the project. He or she should have also advised about the material quality used so that the client could get high-quality service at the end contract. DD Ltd may have to understand that the client is unhappy because the project is not finished and that some of the completed shops have defects. Any reasonable being who has spent a lot of time and energy towards accomplishing a project and it turns out to be a failure will be unhappy—which is the case with the CC developments Ltd—will extremely unhappy. DD Ltd may have to agree that the completed work is not according to contract and it is not the best he or she could offer. 

On the other hand, CC developments limited will be forced to prove that the contractor failed completely. The damage has already happened and that is why some units are incomplete and completed units have defects. It is true that CC failed to give proper instructions or detailed information with regards to what should be done to the shops. It will be important to provide the information to the DD and even agree to provide other materials to complete the remaining shops and repair those with defects. DD may agree to complete the remaining shops and repair those with defects at a subsidized price or do it free since good working relationships requires adhering to the terms of the contract and delivering high quality work. The two parties can agree to share the costs and complete the project in the shortest time possible. Moreover, if DD Ltd was lying that the client did not provide the necessary information, there will still need the two parties to agree on whether to complete the task as desired or share the costs of the remaining work to be done—repairing the shops with defects and completing the refurbishment of the remaining shops. In short, the adjudicator will be interested in the evidence from the two parties to make a decision to come up with a decision.

Recommendations for a Way Forward


Because the two parties have strong stands and all think they are right about their positions, it will be difficult for nay to compromise and accept to mediate. DD Ltd, it is claimed, has done unsatisfactory work: incomplete refurbishing of some shops and the completed shops have defaults. With this, it seems, the contractor provided low-quality work and failed to adhere to a duty of care when promising his or her work as a professional. The contract is legally binding, and it will be better to go before an adjudicator who will found out if the DD Ltd contractor acted in the best interest of the client as required by the duty of care in contract law— and if the client was negligent by failing to give the necessary instructions. 

Court-based adjudication is perceived to be more formal compared to the mediation process. Arbitration, which can be used in dispute settlement, is not a voluntary process; every party has an obligation by the law to take part in the proceedings. If the case finds its way to trial, every side should provide evidence supporting their cause and argument for dispute. After the presentation of the evidence, a jury, or judge will give final decisions concerning the presented cases from both parties. With a decision being made, the parties have right to appeal and even move to a high court or court of appeal. In other words, adjudicators will ensure that the case between the two parties (DD Ltd and CC Ltd) comes to end within the shortest time possible instead of pleading with both sides to voluntarily embrace the mediation process to come to an agreement and end the disputes or conflicts existing. 



Cheung, SO,  Yiu, TW and Yeung, SF. (2006) A study of Styles and outcomes in Construction dispute Negotiation. Journal of construction engineering and management, August 2006, pp.805-813

Hassanein, A. and Nemr, W. (2007) Construction Claims in Egypt:Contrasts and Similarities With Published Literature. AACE International Transactions, INT.04, pp.1-5

Joyce, W. (2008) Returning Arbitration to an effective process in construction contracts. Dispute resolution journal, July 2008, pp.15-18.

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