When you want to make improvements on any home or business, usually you will seek the services of professionals from the interiors & building business sectors. These people can be designers, architects, builders, and any number tradespeople like plumbers or electricians, or skilled craftsmen like sculpters and carpenters. Having to coordinate projects with so many services and individuals can get very complicated. Sometimes stress levels can increase. It soon becomes clear that everyone has their own agenda to fulfill, and conflicts can sometimes arise, particularly when deadlines and money are involved.
Disputes over any interior design or construction project can occur when their is a misunderstanding or miscommunication of the expectations between the client and the contractor. As soon as there is a dispute, all efforts should be made to resolve it as quickly as possible in order to minimize disruptions and cost to the project. Disputes can be settled in a number of ways. There are traditional approaches as well as innovative ideas.
Alternative Dispute Resolution Processes
Using processes that come under the common banner of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), you will have a number of options.
The first step has to be personal negotiation which is the cheapest, fastest and most agreeable method of all. This will involve and open mind, lots of patience, empathy and an acceptance of the possibilities and benefits of compromise. You will also need to keep the communication channels open!
If this turns out to be not enough then the matter can be taken to mediation by a neutral third party. Both parties agree to meet with the mediator out of court where the mediator can facilitate a resolution. If an agreement can be reached between the two parties, litigation can be avoided and it will save a lot of time and money.
The mediator must have experience and expertise in this specialized area because his recommendations must stand up in a court of law. The mediator is allowed to provide legal advice. However, the two parties are not legally bound by the recommended resolution, and the mediator does not have the power to enforce this decision.
If mediation is unsuccessful, the dispute can be escalated to arbitration. This is brought before a panel of arbitrators or a single expert in arbitration. This is different from a mediation in that the decision from the arbitrator is legally binding. This is a judgment with which both sides must comply. This is done before any law suits are filed and it is usually a faster and less expensive way to legally resolve a dispute.
A more innovative approach is by using Rapid Dispute Resolution. This method calls for a team of attorneys and experts in the construction industry who meet with both parties as soon as there is a dispute. These professionals are here to provide expert analysis of the problem and relevant issues. They offer advice and direction in how the problems can be resolved, and their goal is to move quickly toward a speedy resolution. Rather than taking weeks or months to do this, results are achieved in days. If one of the conventional resolution methods is still required, this team of experts will be on hand to ensure the resolution process moves along quickly and smoothly. The focus is to resolve the dispute as efficiently as possible in order to minimize loss of time and money.
Should your dispute go beyond the earliest stage of personal negotiation you are then going to want to take professional advice. I can tell you from personal experience that things can get expensive and messy at this stage if you are not careful.
The best advice I can give you is advice that you may not expect. my advice is for you to seek out the services of a specialist barrister.
Since 2004 most barristers have been accessible to members of the public vis ‘Direct Access’. Traditional one would engae a soliciotr who then would seek advice and representation for you from a barrister. You would then have both sets of fees to contend with. Now you can do this directly yourself.
Some are also qualified mediators and arbitartors. One such person is Stewart Patterson Barrister. He is based in Winchester, Hampshire and has clients across the UK. He also works from his London Chambers. What is rare with Stewart is the fact that he is a highly qualified mediator and arbitrator for the industry sectors we are talking about. Barristers, like Stewart, operate on a fixed fee basis and will invariably offer you an initial discussion free of charge in order to etablish whether or not they are best placed to help you.
Disputes over interior design and construction projects will continue to be a reality for investors and developers in the UK economy. Resolving these disputes as quickly as possible benefits everyone involved. Prolonging the dispute causes both sides to lose time and money. Resolving problems quickly benefits everyone.