When is mediation appropriate for a construction dispute?
Produced in partnership with Fladgate LLP
When is mediation appropriate for a construction dispute?

The following Construction guidance note Produced in partnership with Fladgate LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • When is mediation appropriate for a construction dispute?
  • Type of dispute
  • Type of outcome
  • Other advantages

This Practice Note considers the types of construction dispute that mediation is most suited to (and those to which it is less likely to be suited). It also highlights the advantages of mediation in resolving construction disputes.

Type of dispute

Mediation can be an excellent way of providing a forum for a negotiated, compromise solution in the event of a construction dispute where:

  1. the answer to a dispute is not clearly one outcome or another

  2. there is room for compromise

  3. both parties need to take into account the risk that their arguments might not succeed in court

Sometimes in a dispute, the solution appears to be obvious but one party is not complying without giving a reason. Even in this situation, mediation can be helpful. At mediation, the non-complying party has the opportunity to explain in confidence its difficulty and this often enables a mediator to find a compromise solution that both parties can accept. This could, for example, cover a situation where an employer or contractor is in financial difficulties but a settlement can be reached to pay the party that is owed money over a period of time, or to make payment in kind.

Mediation could potentially be used to resolve any construction dispute (see Practice Note: Mediation of construction disputes). However, mediation is particularly appropriate for the following kinds