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

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 argument 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 his 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 of dispute which commonly arise:

  1. liability for defective work, where a mediation can not only resolve liability but also allows a range of solutions such as one party agreeing to carry out work, or agreement