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Law Blog: So it’s Olympics time again

In his new regular law blog, John Sheils partner at Shadbolt & Co, is excited about the Olympics

So it’s Olympics time again.

The coverage of the Olympics on the TV has generally been very good and has rekindled my interest in sports as diverse as judo and badminton (weirdly I have been a practitioner of both in my time). However, I must say that I have been bitterly disappointed by the woeful TV coverage of beach volley ball. It seems that just because Team GB didn’t qualify we are now to be deprived of all the action from the Chaoyang Park Beach Volleyball Ground and instead must endure “sports” such as dinghy sailing and dressage just because there is a scintilla of a chance that we might actually win something.

Anyhow, there I was the other morning nodding off in front of the rythmic gymnastics when, with a start, it struck me that it was our turn next and there are only four years left to go. However, there was really no need to panic as it seems the ODA are going great guns and are due to deliver on time and without too much strife.

The apparent lack of gnashing teeth down at the Olympic Park might be to do with the fact that the ODA has included a provision within its contracts for dispute resolution boards (DRBs). The purpose of DRBs is to review disputes as they arise between the parties and advise on settlement. Their decisions are not normally intended to be binding. However, the really interesting thing about DRB’s is that the members are expected to take an interest in the project and become familiar with its workings, this ought to mean that disputes can be headed off at an early stage.

The use of DRBs is now standard in many international projects and provided that the domestic market becomes persuaded of their efficacy (they are not cheap to run) they may soon become standard here too.

Anyway, in the unlikely event that the Olympic facillities in the East End are not completed by 2012, it matters not the beach volley ball is going to be at Horse Guards Parade and of course that’s already built… I can’t wait!

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