Dispute Boards (DB) generally comprises a panel of three experienced, respected and impartial members. DBs are most often used in the construction and engineering industries. A DB is usually appointed at the start of a project and is regularly updated on the progress of the works. The members are kept informed of progress and matters pertaining to the project by receipt of reports and periodic visits to the site. When a difference or dispute between the parties cannot be resolved internally then it is referred to the DB. The Board reviews submissions and convenes a hearing giving the parties an opportunity to state their case.
The Board makes a written, non-binding recommendation for resolving the dispute. The recommendation gives reasons for the conclusions that have been reached. Acceptance by the parties of the recommendations is facilitated by their confidence in the DB, through their appreciation of the member’s technical knowledge and understanding of the project as well as by the opportunity provided for the parties to be heard.
Whilst the DB’s recommendations for resolution are non-binding, the DB process is most effective if the contract includes a provision for the admissibility of a recommendation given by the DB in any future proceedings.
The use of DB is becoming increasingly common on major international infrastructure projects, especially where the FIDIC form of Contract is used. In many cases, DB provides effective means for parties to obtain interim decisions on disputes pending final resolution by arbitration or litigation.
How can we help?
Referral and Submissions to Dispute Boards
Silver Shemmings takes pride in its ability to provide a complete Dispute Boards or Dispute Resolution Boards service from the first signs of a dispute until full determination. In our experience, getting us involved in the dispute at the outset has been fruitful to our clients. A clear and deep understanding of the dispute can be obtained which in turn greatly assists the possibility of resolution.
Our services to clients in projects where there is a provision disputes to be referred to a board include:
- advice on and preparation of time and/or money claims;
- drafting and serving preliminary notice to refer dispute to the DB;
- drafting submissions and referral to the DB;
- drafting of witness statements.
Should you need advice as to how to take your claim forward to a Dispute Board, or to defend a claim before a Dispute Board or wish to appoint a Board Member on your project, contact one of our experts.