Posted on July 01, 2019

Specialist speakers addressed the second in a series of seminars hosted by Ashghal, the Public Works Authority of the State of Qatar, on “Best Practice in Avoiding Formal Disputes” in the construction sector in Qatar.

The session focused on Dispute Resolution using Expert Determination, with specialist speakers Pamela McDonald, Senior Associate from International law firm Pinsent Masons, Ronan Kelly, Director at Driver Trett, and Ahmad al Ansari, Technical Office Manager of Ashghal.

The first seminar in April featured the sharingof knowledge and experience from legal and delays specialists on how claims in respect of Variations and Extensions of Time should be dealt with during the life of a project. Part 2 in June focused on tiered dispute resolution provisions, including an in-depth analysis on the benefits of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and in particular, the process of Expert Determination as an intermediate step towards resolution of claims without using courts or arbitral tribunals.

The interactive sessions invited the audiencesof some 300 practitioners in total from clients, contractors and consultantsto give their views using online polling on key topics including their experience of how variations and claims for additional time are dealt with in Qatar and the value of Expert Determination. The results of the survey are published on the Constructing Excellence in Qatar website and showed strong appetite for the use of ADR approaches to save time and money in resolving disputes.

Don Ward of Constructing Excellence in Qatar said: “The seminars have shown that there is an appetite for better ways to resolve disputes on construction projects, preferably by avoiding them in the first place, and the expertise is here to adopt those better ways. We look forward to running further events to support the local industry”, Pamela McDonald of Pinsent Masons commented: "The attendance and the comments made by members of the construction community at these events demonstrated that disputes on projects in Qatar are anticipated, which drives up cost.  The opportunity to deliver these sessions and give practical advice as to the management of claims in a way which avoids major disputes, sets Qatar apart and demonstrates its values being put into action.