Important COVID-19 Update

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These are certainly challenging times for us all.

We are committed to doing everything we can to prioritise the wellbeing of our people, those who use our services and their representatives and the communities we serve to help contain the spread of COVID-19. Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Saturday, our people will begin working remotely from today, Monday 23 March.

Having well developed online dispute resolution options, it will in many ways be business as usual for us as we focus on providing a seamless service, regardless of where our Registry staff, adjudicators, arbitrators and mediators are working.

We know you are working through similar challenges to ours and that these are uncertain times for everyone. From all of us here we send our thoughts to you, your teams and families.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Please let us know if we can be of further assistance to you and we will keep you informed with any further updates.

 

If a dispute has already arisen and there is no agreement between the parties to refer the dispute to Expert Determination, the parties may enter into an agreement for those purposes and the following clause is recommended. The words in square brackets should be deleted/completed as appropriate.

“[Name of first party] and [Name of second party and Ors] hereinafter referred to as the parties, are parties to a contract entered into on or about [enter date].

The parties have agreed that [all matters in dispute between them/the matters in dispute between them set out in the Schedule attached hereto] shall be referred to Expert Determination by [Name of Expert] in accordance with the Agreement for Expert Determination and Rules for Determination of Disputed Matters by Expert of the Building Disputes Tribunal (BDT) which procedures and rules are deemed to be incorporated by reference herein.

[if the parties are unable to agree upon the identity of an Expert within [five (5)/ten (10)] working days from the date of this agreement, then the Expert shall be appointed by BDT upon the application of any party.]”

Looking for a model clause to put in your contract for future disputes? The following clause is recommended:

“In the event of any dispute or difference arising out of or in connection with this contract, or the subject matter of this contract, including any question about its existence, validity or termination, the parties must refer that dispute in the first instance to Expert Determination in accordance with the Expert Determination Rules of the Building Disputes Tribunal.”

Unless the parties intend for expert determination to be final and binding, we recommend that the above clause then be followed by the following model arbitration clause:

“If either party is dissatisfied with the expert’s determination, either party may, by service of a Notice of Arbitration, require the matter in dispute to be referred to arbitration in accordance with the Arbitration Rules of the Building Disputes Tribunal.”