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Construction Dispute Values Increase Globally in 2020

Global design & construction consultancy Arcadis recently released their 11th Annual Global Construction Disputes Report, and - no surprise - all global regions saw an increase in average dispute values during 2020, with over 60% of respondents reporting project impacts due to COVID-19.


However, the same survey indicated no change to the best means and methods of dispute resolution and avoidance: direct "party-to-party" negotiation remains the #1 method of resolution, ahead of mediation (2nd) and arbitration (3rd); owner/contractor willingness to compromise remains the #1 factor contributing to early resolution; and solid project risk management remains the #1 avoidance technique.


In a related note, dispute resolution expert Chris Soffe recently published this perspective on Global Construction Report, predicting that corporate ESG initiatives - especially related to climate change and green building initiatives - are soon likely to overshadow COVID with major challenges for the construction industry. Soffe leads the dispute advisory practice at Gleeds, and is also Past President of the Chartered Institute of Building.


Many large law and project management firms have a construction dispute advisory practice, but below is a list of notable leaders in the space, with their key market(s) or focus areas:

Over the past 20+ years, consultants at Alzette Advisors have been directly involved in hundreds of construction contracts in dozens of worldwide markets - and unfortunately the occasional dispute, ranging from $3,000 to $30 million USD in value. We have always been on the side of corporate client or project owner, and so we are uniquely qualified to advise on principal-to-principal resolution - which as noted above is the statistically most common method of resolution. Although we are technically a 3rd party, we can advise from the background, and/or get directly involved in a low key manner, without triggering the costs and complexity of more formal dispute resolution approaches. We have also helped clients engage 3rd party experts with additional expertise - when necessary - to create a team and prepare for mediation, arbitration, or even litigation.


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