Growing its adjudicator register and attracting younger members is a key aim of the ICE Dispute Resolution Service (DRS)
Raymond Joyce, Chair of the ICE Dispute Resolution Panel (DRP), outlined the DRS’s objective in an update at the annual Alternative Dispute Resolution Workshop at ICE’s HQ in London last month.
process allows contractual disputes to be resolved without going to court. Disputes in an infrastructure project are decided by a third-party, expert adjudicator.
There are currently 35 adjudicators on the ICE register, and the ICE DRP deals with 75 adjudication requests on average per year.
Joyce reported that feedback from users of the disputes service has improved over the past year.
Also, he said, there were no complaints about, and no investigations into any adjudicator in 2018.
The shift from arbitration to adjudication
Adjudicators are quickly winning the confidence of the construction industry, which has led to a shift from arbitration to adjudication over the last two decades, according to Paul Darling OBE, QC of 39 Essex Chambers.
He said in his keynote address that the adjudicator community had a clear understanding of what the industry wanted, trained accordingly and delivered outcomes.
However, there are rare times when adjudication can’t be enforced.
In which case, “be sensible and try and be fair” and courts are likely to uphold the decision, Darling said.
Expectations of adjudication
In a session about what the parties of an NEC contract want from adjudication, Iain Drummond of Shepherd & Wedderburn
identified three key expectations.
Firstly, the parties expect a clear, thorough and well-reasoned decision that’s fair and even-handed to both parties.
Secondly, the decision should be easy to read, give reasons and deal with all the arguments raised.
And thirdly, they expect adjudicator fees to be reasonable, Drummond said.
To find out more about ICE’s Dispute Resolution Services, see here