Learning lessons from construction arbitration

Learning lessons from construction arbitration


Next month, Queen Mary, University of London’s School of International Arbitration will host a conference entitled, ‘Opportunities and Challenges in Construction Arbitration’, which Lexis®PSL Arbitration is supporting as a media partner. In a much-anticipated appearance after his recent retirement, The Honourable Sir Vivian Ramsey will give the keynote speech at the event on 11 December 2014.

The conference will cover a range of practical topics, including the role of experts, disclosure and third party funding in construction arbitration disputes. The full programme and booking details are available here.

Opportunities to listen and learn

Attendees without a construction background will, no doubt, look forward to learning lessons from those experienced in construction arbitration disputes. One notable, recent development in this industry is the American Arbitration Association (AAA)’s new supplementary rules for Fixed Time and Cost Construction Arbitration (the Supplementary Rules).

The Supplementary Rules, which took effect on 15 June 2014, specify upper limits on the costs and time for arbitrations according to the amount in dispute where the parties agree that the Supplementary Rules apply. For example, for cases in the US$250,000 to US$500,000 range, the Supplementary Rules prescribe a maximum of 180 days from filing to award, with no more than three hearing days. Arbitrator compensation for hearing days and study time (limited to 12 hours) is capped at $275 an hour. Administrative fees to the AAA are also fixed at $5,000.

Although fast-track or expedited commercial arbitration is offered by several of the prominent international arbitration institutions (eg ICC, LCIA, CIETAC and SIAC), the limits on time and cost represent a departure for the construction industry. Although it remains to be seen whether there will be demand for the Supplementary Rules, it shows a sector willing to embrace alternative forms of dispute resolution.

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About the author:

Barry specialises in international arbitration and commercial litigation. He trained and practised at Jones Day before joining Pinsent Masons. At LexisNexis, Barry is Head of Arbitration and Head of the Lexis®PSL Dispute Resolution Group.

In practice, Barry’s work included commercial, aviation and technology arbitrations pursuant to international arbitral rules, involving UK and international clients. He also has a background in general commercial, civil fraud and IT litigation, including experience before the High Court. While in private practice, Barry worked with a broad range of clients from the private and public sectors.

At LexisNexis, when not focused on the strategic development and operational requirements of the Dispute Resolution Group, Barry’s content work focuses on the law and practice of international commercial arbitration and investment treaty arbitration. In addition to his work for Lexis®PSL, Barry contributes to the LexisNexis Dispute Resolution Blog and New Law Journal on litigation and arbitration matters