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Continuing Problems with Construction Performance: What's to be done?

Paper number

Derek Griffiths

December 2011

A paper presented to the Society of Construction Law at a meeting in Cardiff on 16th November 2011

Derek Griffiths considers critically the reports and statutory interventions affecting construction over the last fifteen years, concluding that none of the proposals or changes have been entirely positive. There remains, in his view, work to be done to increase the chances of successful construction projects. Limiting the scope of statutory adjudication would help; but there are self-help initiatives the parties could take, especially to avoid modifying standard forms and to adopt supportive dispute avoidance mechanisms from the start of the project (or even before), which would assist the participants to work together for mutual benefit. From his wide international experience on major projects, he strongly advocates the integration of dispute review boards into projects.

Introduction - Diagnosis - My own prescription? - The British approach: a race through history since 1970 - Evaluating the outcomes of these initiatives - More discouraging recent news - Fair construction contracts? - Approaches to the same problems in the USA, Lesotho and Hong Kong - What should be done? - Self-help and its benefits - Choosing the right solution/horse - Costs - Conclusions.

Derek Griffiths is a non-practising solicitor, a former in-house legal counsel to contractors and employers and a construction law/dispute resolution consultant.

Text 28 pages.