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  • Writer's pictureAnn Skelton

Med-Arb - case study

A design company supplied some goods to a construction company for the completion of a commercial build project. A dispute arose about the specifications of the goods; payment was withheld and the commercial project stalled. The two parties involved had done a lot of business together over the years but the relationship had become strained, for reasons that the designer did not understand. The goods totalled over $110,000 but the possible default penalties for non-completion by the construction company were much greater. They had both got lawyers involved but this had not resolved the matter. We got involved with a Med-Arb process which took less than one day. We started by sitting round a table listening to both parties' version of events. The facts didn't differ greatly; the interpretation of the events varied wildly. This was a great "A-Ha" moment for both parties - they could see the essence of the dispute. However, given the amount of money at stake unfortunately the parties did not reach a settlement. We then proceeded to an arbitration/adjudication process, a few more questions were asked, the meeting closed and within 2 weeks the Mediator had produced a written decision, enforceable by law. The dispute was at an end and the parties could move on. We received feedback subsequently that the process was professional and allowed them to be heard, but not have to compromise in front of the other party.

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