RICS releases low cost adjudication option for construction SMEs

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The RICS Dispute Resolution Service (DRS) implemented the LVD MAP adjudication service under the Construction Industry Council (CIC) rules to make adjudication more affordable for smaller construction firms and SMEs

To assist SMEs, RICS DRS has this week implemented a summary adjudication service for claims below £20,000. The aim will be to deliver a summary decision, with outline reasons only, within fourteen days of referral.

DRS received feedback from the industry that the COVID-19 crisis is impacting even more severely on the smaller end of the market than it had first realised. There are many contractors who are just not being paid, and who cannot afford even the reduced cost of this process.

There will be no inspection or site visit involved and the fee will be capped at £1000 + VAT.

If either party wants full reasons, they will be able, at their own expense, to ask the adjudicator to produce them. This service will be offered for a limited period, initially until the end of July, as a specific response to the needs of the industry.

Relief for SMEs

Dr John Fletcher, global director of dispute resolution, RICS, said: “RICS DRS is responding proactively to the current market and user feedback.

“As the largest Adjudicator Nominating Body in the UK, we believe we should do what we can to provide much-needed relief to the SMEs most badly affected.

“I am deeply grateful to the skilled adjudicators on the RICS President’s Panel who have volunteered to staff this service at the hugely reduced rates involved.”

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