A legal panel has said dispute resolution boards formed at the outset of major projects greatly reduce the chance of costly court action.
Last week (8 June), Clayton Utz hosted a panel session on dispute resolution boards (DRB) on major projects. Around 100 contractors and government representatives attended the session, which was chaired by the firm's construction and major projects head, Doug Jones.
Other panel members included Ian Payne, from the Sydney Water Corporation, Ron Finlay (Dispute Resolution Board Australasia) and David Hudson (Leighton Holdings).
"DRBs are of critical importance to large-scale and high-profile government projects, and will assist to deliver projects on time and on budget," said Doug Jones, who is also the president of the Dispute Resolution Board Australasia.
A DRB is formed at the start of a project, and usually consists of three impartial reviewers. They are provided with contract documents and are called upon when a dispute arises that cannot be resolved by the parties.
In cases where a DRB has been formed prior to the commencement of construction, no disputes have yet been referred to the courts.