A survey of construction industry members by Russell McVeagh has revealed that almost 61 percent of respondents are predicting an increase in the number of disputes. Some causes of a rise are within parties’ control, such as relationships, risk allocation and contract terms. Other causes appear to be structural to the industry.
The jury is still out on whether the Construction Sector Accord, launched in April 2019 and aimed at strengthening the partnership between Government and industry, will change the disputes landscape.
The number one reason for disputes was poor quality documentation. The perception of unfair risk allocation in construction contracts continued to be of concern for many contractor respondents, who identified it as a key cause of construction disputes. Also considered to be major causes of disputes was delay and extensions of time, issues with quality or inexperience, financial issues around slow payment and solvency, under-pricing at tendering, variations and poor co-ordination and communication.