Our Approach to Construction Disputes
Whether you are a developer, contractor or sub-contractor, we are specialist construction lawyers who understand your business. We will bring our knowledge to develop ideas, manage risks and create commercially driven solutions.
As a client, your agenda will be a primary focus for us: what is important to you, the challenges, the opportunities, and how we can deliver what you need.
Our construction lawyers pride themselves on providing clear, commercial and pragmatic advice to clients through detailed technical knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm. Some of our lawyers have a background in engineering and, with industry experience, we can speak your language.
You will be fully confident that your legal advisors have the resources, skills and knowledge to manage the risks and deliver the service you need on time and budget.
We can provide pragmatic and commercial advice on what is worth fighting for. We can get into the detail but also keep sight of the bigger picture. We can deliver without taking needless points. We always ensure our legal advice works as part of an overall solution that helps clients achieve their goals.
Our knowledgeable and experienced construction team helps contractors, sub-contractors, and employers with construction adjudication disputes quickly and cost-effectively.
Problems that arise during building and development projects can be costly and time-consuming to rectify. By providing sound project advice upfront, we can help you prevent disputes from arising and, if the worst happens, we can often defuse contentious issues without the need for formal proceedings.
We take a hands-on approach for the duration of a project, keeping in close communication with you and your team to supply ongoing support. If issues do arise, we can offer practical, commercial advice and troubleshooting options to ensure that your interests are protected.
In everything we do, our overarching objective is to help your construction projects be more harmonious, complete on time and turn a faster profit – the best outcome for all parties.
Main Contractor and Sub-Contractor Disputes
Construction disputes between main contractors and sub-contractors are a widespread occurrence and prevalent in the industry. The direct cost of disputes are typically significant, and can be time-consuming, reduce profits, affect productivity, cause significant stress and divert resources from profitable work and damage relationships.
Main Contractor vs Sub-Contractor
Our knowledgeable construction law team is well experienced in helping Main Contractors resolve disputes that arise during construction projects, which can include the following areas:
- The scope of contractual obligations and duties
- The basis and formation of the sub-contract including dealing with ambiguities and conflicts
- Sub-Contractors' design responsibility
- The scope and terms of letters of intent, payment terms and a failure to comply
- Claims for delay and disruption
- Claims for loss and expense
- Claims for time extensions
- Variations to the works, defects, the occurrence of unforeseen events and compliance with sub-contract procedures and insolvency.
Sub-Contractor vs Main Contractor
We act for specialist contractors, sub-contractors, trade contractors and works contractors to resolve issues and disputes which arise during construction projects.
There are many issues that can arise on construction projects but we always keep sight of the bigger picture and focus on your agenda and what is important to you.
Our Experience Resolving Main Contractor and Sub-Contractor Disputes
Whether assisting Main Contractors or Sub-Contractors, we’ve had numerous successes in recovering payments and outstanding retentions. This includes pursuing claims in relation to time extensions, loss and expense, as well as resolving final account disputes and, if necessary, adjudication proceedings.
Adjudication proceedings have become increasingly complex and it is key to have the right support and full confidence in your legal advisors. Our property law team has the resources, skills and knowledge to bring and defend adjudications on time and on budget.
Below are just a few examples of our experiences resolving Main Contractor and Sub-Contractor disputes:
Main Contractor vs Sub-Contractor
We have recent experience in advising a client on issues arising from the insolvency of a sub-contractor, including in relation to defects discovered in the works.
We have also recently been advising the main contractor in relation to a disruption claim for additional costs incurred due to the poor performance of a sub-contractor and the consequent impact on other trades working on the project.
We can provide pragmatic and commercial advice on what is worth fighting for. We can get into the detail but also keep sight of the bigger picture. We never lose sight of the fact that the legal advice we give must work as part of an overall solution that helps clients to achieve their goals.
Sub-Contractor vs Main Contractor
We have recent experience in advising a client on the release of a retention where the payment terms were not in compliance with legislation without the need to issue proceedings. Our team are specialists who can free up your time so that you can concentrate on what you do best. You can be confident that you will be given the solutions you need when you need them.
We successfully assisted a sub-contractor without the need for formal proceedings in respect of a final account settlement which included issues as to what the parties agreed which resulted in practical problems being encountered by the parties and a claim for liquidated and general damages for a delay to completion.
The scale and complexity of many construction projects, which is often exacerbated by the sheer number of parties involved, makes disputes likely to occur. The effect that a dispute can have on the progress of construction can be catastrophic. Our construction team understands this and adopts an innovative and dynamic approach to dispute resolution.
Litigation through the court system can be costly and protracted. Myerson's construction team are experienced arbitration practitioners and recognise that arbitration can be an efficient and preferred method of resolving a dispute, particularly where there is a need for confidentiality or there is a cross-border element involved.
What is Construction Arbitration?
Arbitration is a binding form of Alternate Dispute Resolution in that either a sole arbitrator or a panel of arbitrators will make a decision that is binding on all parties to the dispute, from which there are only limited avenues of appeal.
Our approach to Construction Arbitration
It is common for construction contracts to provide arbitration as the method of dispute resolution. In such cases, the parties are bound by the forum of arbitration. Our meticulous attention to detail, when drafting construction contracts at the outset, means we tailor the contractual mechanism for resolving disputes to the forum which is best suited to our client's commercial interests.
When a construction dispute goes to arbitration the stakes can be high. It is important, therefore, that you are represented by lawyers who are equipped with the resources, experience and knowledge to secure a prompt and successful resolution.
Our Construction Dispute Service
On the contentious side, we work with clients to chase entitlements or defend claims, whether that is in the courts, arbitration, adjudication or other alternative dispute resolution procedures.
Quality legal advice is essential to bring or defend a complex construction claim. We work with clients to chase their entitlements or defend a claim regardless of the forum.
When drafting the construction documentation initially, our meticulous attention to detail reduces the likelihood of a dispute in the first instance.
Unfortunately, you cannot always avoid disputes. In which case, it is paramount that your legal advisors can employ processes to minimise risk and identify issues early and resolve them quickly.
Whether building a warehouse or a small residential development, you will not want your project delayed or disrupted. The effect of a dispute on the progress of construction can be catastrophic. Our construction team understands this and adopts innovative and dynamic dispute resolution approaches. We always aim primarily to resolve disputes informally without the need to instigate formal dispute resolution proceedings. This approach allows clients to act decisively to resolve the dispute and get the construction project back on track.
There are occasions when formal legal action is necessary and cannot be avoided. In such cases, Myerson’s dedicated construction team can help realise the best possible outcome by vigorously pursuing or defending your claim. Our construction team are experienced legal practitioners who are well-versed in dispute resolution procedures, whether arbitration, adjudication, expert determination, or litigation through the court system.
Whatever the size or nature of the dispute, our breadth of experience guarantees that we can help you realise the best possible outcome with a strategy that is tailored to your commercial circumstances.
- We have acted on a number of significant transactions and disputes including successfully acting for the insolvent claimant in the reported case of Styles & Wood Ltd v GE CIF Trustees Ltd involving a final account adjudication and enforcement proceedings which was the first successful action of its kind following the Supreme Court decision in Bresco Electrical Services Ltd (in liquidation) v Michael J Lonsdale (Electrical) Ltd. We have written a separate detailed case study on this which can be viewed here.
- We successfully acted for a contractor on the defence of a high value ‘smash and grab’ adjudication against a sub-contractor to a tight timescale with extensive written submissions being required.
- We regularly advise clients on payment issues at all levels of the supply chain including defending and pursuing claims in adjudication proceedings.
Meet Our Specialists
Home-grown or recruited from national, regional or City firms. Our specialists are experts in their fields and respected by their peers.
Neil is a Partner and Head of our Construction Team
Vicky is a Senior Associate in our Commercial Litigation Team
Jack is a Solicitor in our Construction Team
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