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Dispute Boards

Dispute Boards are an effective dispute avoidance, resolution and management mechanism for contractual disputes on medium to large scale projects.

Dispute Boards are designed to avoid conflict and, if disputes do arise, deal with them quickly and effectively. The purpose of a Dispute Board is to save money, ensure the project is delivered on time and on budget, and to help to maintain relationships.

Dispute Boards usually exist throughout the duration of a contract, and can be referred to at any time by any one of the Parties for a recommendation or determination of the dispute referred.

Download the Register of Accredited Dispute Board Members

Advantages of using dispute boards

A Dispute Board involved with the project from inception through to completion benefits from ‘hands on’ knowledge of every aspect of the project. Members of the Dispute Board know the Parties, the goals and objectives of the project and are able to act quickly to either prevent a dispute from arising or to give a decision quickly (in some cases, as quickly as 30 days after the formal request).

As the members of the Dispute Board know both Parties, they can request their opinions on matters of concern. This can help to prevent future disputes and move the project forward towards successful, stress-free completion.

Other advantages:

  • Confidentiality – Any disputes and decisions will remain confidential.
  • Expertise – Members of the Dispute Board will have been selected for their knowledge and expertise before a dispute has arisen.
  • Flexibility – Parties can agree the procedure in advance and can agree any changes to it during the course of the project.
  • Prevention of Disputes – The existence of the Dispute Board can prevent disputes escalating because Parties are reluctant to be seen making frivolous claims. This is an incentive for the Parties to reach a negotiated settlement between them.
  • Relationships – Dispute Boards can help to preserve relationships, as the process is consensual and all Parties are invested in the process.
  • Understanding – The Dispute Board will gain a good working knowledge of the project as they will undertake regular site visits and create a relationship with team members. When a dispute arises, the Board will have a much better understand than a Tribunal, for example, which would only be appointed after a dispute has arisen. 

Appointment of a Dispute Board

RICS will be able to nominate Dispute Board members or a Dispute Board Chair where the applicable contract requires it, or where the Parties are unable to reach agreement and request an appointment. We will only appoint professionals included on our register of RICS Accredited Dispute Board Members.

Request the appointment of a sole member Dispute Board

Contact the DRS team

  • RICS Dispute Resolution Service
    55 Colmore Row
    Birmingham
    B3 2AA
  • Call: +44 (0) 20 7334 3806
  • Email us