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ODA draws up contract dispute plan

An independent dispute avoidance panel has been set up to help avert Wembley-stadium style contractual disputes on work to build the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The expert panel has been formed to help the Olympic Delivery Authority and its contractors to avoid any potential disputes that could impact on the delivery of the Olympic Park and other London 2012 venues.

It will focus on finding solutions to problems which may arise before they become disputes that could require lengthy resolution.

The system being set up will deal with disputes between the client – the ODA – and contractors but also between contractors and their top level sub-contractors. It has been set up after the ODA sounded out the industry on alternatives to costly and time consuming traditional dispute resolution methods.

The IDAP is chaired by Dr Martin Barnes, president of the association for project management and originator of the form of construction contract being used by the ODA for major venues, the NEC Contract.

Dr Barnes has selected a panel made up of 10 construction professionals with a wealth of experience in major projects.

A dedicated Adjudication Panel has been set up to decide dispute which have not been avoided through the IDAP.

This is chaired by Peter Chapman and made up of experienced adjudicators appointed by the Institution of Civil Engineers based on the nominations from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Royal Institution of British Architects, Chartered Institute of Building and the Institution of Engineering and Technology.

If either party decides to challenge an adjudicator’s decision, the final tribunal is the Technology and Construction Court.

ODA Chief Executive David Higgins said: “Positive and open relationships with our contractors are crucial to keeping the project on track and will be even more important as more companies come on board to start building the venues.

“This independent Panel will help us and our contractors work together to identify and resolve any potential issues early.”

All parties will still be able to resort to legal procedures – in particular, the parties will have the statutory right to refer any dispute or difference to adjudication.

The Independent Dispute Avoidance Panel members are:

Dr Martin Barnes (Chairman)
Roy Bentley
Martin Davis
Peter Hansford
Dick Harris
Bob Heathfield
Lindsey Holbrook
Malcolm Hutchinson
Professor Tony Ridley
Richard Saxon
Matthew Symes

The Adjudication Panel Members are:

Peter Chapman (Chairman)
Peter Aeberli
Richard Bayfield
Geoffrey Brewer
Peter Curtis
Mark Entwistle
Peter Higgins
Robert Isherwood
David Loosemore
Francesco Mastrandrea
Kenneth Molloy
Ian Salisbury