More Jaw, Less War

With reports that the Dubai Government is about to pass a law that will require all construction disputes to go through a mediation centre before they can be litigated in the courts, Managing Director of The Vinden Partnership, Peter Vinden, calls for similar action to be taken in the UK.
 
 

With reports that the Dubai Government is about to pass a law that will require all construction disputes to go through a mediation centre before they can be litigated in the courts, Managing Director of Vinden, Peter Vinden, calls for similar action to be taken in the UK.

 
The Dubai Mediation Centre, which launches next month, aims to speed up the settlement process and resolve as many civil property disputes as possible. Only unresolved cases will be passed for judgement within the Property Court.
 
“My feeling is that the Dubai Government has got this absolutely right and that a similar system should be introduced in the UK,” says Vinden.
 
“Those of us who earn a living from the construction industry are living in difficult times. Work is scarce, margins are tighter than ever and we are all living in fear of what the banks will do next. Contractors and sub-contractors are chasing money like never before and this inevitably means more disputes.
 
“Whilst our colleagues in Dubai are experiencing similar problems, their solution is highly sensible and one that I will be watching with keen interest. Many lawyers will argue that to mediate a dispute before it has been fully argued out in pleadings with the accompanying disclosure means it is likely to fail. But I disagree.”
 
Vinden adds: “It may be true that the legal argument would not have been fully rehearsed between parties at an early mediation but it cuts both ways simply because the parties will have the advantage of not having incurred the associated legal costs.
 
“In my experience, business people are capable of factoring risk associated with early mediation and cases that are conducted because of a need rather than a desire to resolve, are always going to be difficult.
 
“This shouldn’t, however, stop this sort of legislation going through and I strongly believe that it would make a positive impact on the number of cases pending in the judicial court system in the UK. Perhaps the time for compulsory mediation of construction disputes is here?”
 
Vinden is a North West and Midlands-based firm offering efficient solutions for construction-related problems.  Peter Vinden trained as a Mediator in London, Rome and Boston and is qualified and registered to mediate disputes in the UK, Europe, the Middle East, Canada and the USA.
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