The unforeseen is one of the most difficult aspects of a project to account for but it is likely the most important. Even in the most ideal of economic circumstances an unforeseen event can have potentially catastrophic consequences for a project. In an uncertain economic climate such as exists now these undesirable effects are amplified. Carrying out comprehensive risk evaluations ensures that every feasible risk facing the project has been accounted for. MMP have a number of staff who are highly qualified and experienced in carrying out risk evaluations.
In Ireland, risk evaluations now carry additional importance. In the instance where a contractor’s claim is held over a construction project the Department of Environment Heritage and Local Government requires that the project be evaluated under a risk evaluation criteria. Under the Department’s guidelines negotiation cannot begin nor can a settlement be reached before this assesment is carried out. The assesment operates much like an audit that determines the complexity and financial significance of the dispute before the settlement process begins. Determining what type of settlement process to engage in depends on the specifics of the difficulty that has arisen. Understanding which type of settlement process to proceed with is critical to a successful outcome.
Personnel at Mulcahy McDonagh and Partners are qualified and experienced in carrying out these risk assessments for all types of construction project. They can evaluate the project status and assist in determining which type of settlement process is most appropriate to engage with.
There are four primary settlement process types that can be entered into in order to resolve a dispute. All standard forms of construction and building contract require that both parties enter into conciliation before litigation or arbitration can be entered into. By working with the two parties involved the Conciliator attempts to determine terms that both parties find acceptable. Where an agreement cannot be reached the conciliator issues a recommended set of terms to which the parties must reject within a set period if they do not wish to be bound by those terms.
Mediation is similar to conciliation but it does not result in the same binding terms where an agreement cannot be made.