The Spring 2020 Construction Case Update from Gateley Vinden offers a comprehensive look at the key issues in adjudication, mediation and dispute resolution in these extraordinary times
Chief executive Peter Vinden discusses a recent flurry of construction cases involving allegations of fraud between parties in adjudication proceedings, ranging from forged documents and signatures through to even arranging break-ins to steal key information.
He examines what constitutes fraud, some case history of allegations in adjudication proceedings, what is behind the spike in cases and the potential effects on enforcement proceedings.
Elsewhere, Peter explores the impact of the coronavirus lockdown on construction contracts and in particular the need for an extension to allow extra time to complete work, relief from liquidated damages and recovery of additional costs.
He discusses the key issues to consider, such as the impact of government legislation on the terms of a contract and force majeure clauses.
Against the backdrop of the Covid-19 outbreak, there has been a surge in disputes and companies seeking restructuring advice.
The courts are already busy and expect to get busier – and there have been stern warnings that parties could be punished if they refuse to engage in mediation.
But with face-to-face meetings still off the table in the majority of cases, there has been an increase in online mediation via video conferencing.
Peter, a veteran of over 20 years’ experience in face-to-face mediation, shares his experience of this new approach, from initial misgivings to appreciating some of the benefits video mediation offers, such as reduced travel costs for all parties and an arguably less stressful experience.
In the longer term, face-to-face mediation will always have its place, Peter argues that we must embrace the “new normal” and adapt in order to reach the resolutions that will help parties move on and business to continue.