Alternative Dispute Resolution

    Not all members may know that the MBA-North is a nominating body for the appointment of mediators, adjudicators and arbitrators, to resolve disputes arising on construction contracts. These processes are commonly known as Alternative Dispute Resolution or ADR. Adjudication and Arbitration are mandatory processes if you are contracting with the MBA domestic sub-contract agreement (all revisions). This should be interpreted as a strong benefit for contracting parties, as resolving a dispute using ADR is far quicker, cheaper and definitive than taking matters to court.

    The trend we have seen of late is a downturn in applications for ADR practitioners. This can be attributed to a combination of factors including a downturn in construction activity, a reluctance to embark on unfamiliar processes, ignorance of ADR processes available, an abandonment of claims, a lack of funds, etc. Since the beginning of the year, the MBA-North has received three applications for the nomination of Arbitrators with R3.6m being in dispute.

    If you want to know more about these processes and how they work, you are encouraged to contact the MBA-North for more information.

    We have concluded our first virtual training session of the JBCC® Nominated / Selected subcontract agreement 2018 edition. This was spread over three three-hour sessions per day in order to minimise the disruption to the workday of participants. The MBA-North schedules contractual training every quarter. Look out for our flyer for the planned training in June 2021. This training may or not be virtual, depending on the lockdown rules in place at the time. These well-priced sessions are of huge benefit to any person or company contracting with the MBSA or JBCC® suite of documents. Part of the training covers the ADR processes referred to above. We look forward to hosting you, so please make the effort to join us, you will not be disappointed.

    In order to bring cost-effective contractual assistance to our members, the MBA-North also offers various commercial packages to assist you along the construction journey, from tender stage to final account. Should you wish to make use of these services, please visit our website for more details.

    Margins are low, penalties are high. If you want to protect your margins, you have to be commercially astute. As the old adage goes, prevention is better than cure, so make sure you are informed and set up your contracts and sub-contracts properly in the first place. Don’t leave things to chance!

    Brad Boertje BSc QS FA Arb

    Commercial and Legal desk

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