Federation launches new Mediation Service

Working in partnership with a panel of widely respected mediators, the Construction Employers Federation Mediation Service will provide a non-binding intervention between parties to promote resolution of a grievance, reconciliation, settlement or compromise.

It is open to all construction companies, their sub-contractors, design team and/ or employers – not just CEF members – and is seen as a quick, inexpensive, informal and confidential means to address disputes between contractors, sub-contractors, the design team and/ or employers. However, it does not cover dispute resolution between Government clients and contractors – a separate dispute resolution mechanism is being developed for this. Given the significant volume of disputes within the industry, the CEF Mediation Service will give all contractors the opportunity to resolve these in a mutually acceptable manner where an alternative dispute resolution clause has been inserted into a commercial contract, or where one is incorporated by agreement because of a dispute occurring.

The CEF Mediation Service is without prejudice – any party can walk away from it at any time in the process if they are unhappy. With further agreement, though, parties will still have the opportunity to return to mediation – or litigation, as is their right.

While entering into the process is voluntary, and the panel does not have the ability to impose a settlement on any party, if an agreement can be reached, it is a legally binding contract with all parties’ signatures.

For detailed information on how companies can refer a dispute and prepare for the mediation as well as the mediation process and the mediation panel, visit www.cefni.com, e-mail David Fry on davidf@cefni.co.uk or telephone 028 9087 7143