A recent flurry of organisations have signed the Conflict Avoidance Pledge and FIS is proud that our members are front and centre in this.  The new momentum coincides with a new Chair of the Conflict Avoidance Coalition who many members will recognise, Len Bunton, one of the FIS Contract Reviewers and a provider of contractual guidance via the FIS Helplines.

The Conflict Avoidance Process is a contractual mechanism which helps parties to avoid getting embroiled in pro-longed and damaging disputes. Where disagreements begin to develop, CAP enables parties to address and resolve matters early, collaboratively and inexpensively.  CAP is included in contracts via a sample standard clause.  If a dispute arises, the process involves the nomination of an impartial CAP professional (a highly experienced and knowledgeable subject matter expert). The role of the CAP professional is to inquire in the disputed issues and provide a report with recommendations on how they can be resolved.  For example, an issue about interpretation of a contractual clause can be referred to a CAP Professional who is a lawyer with immense experience in building contract interpretation. If the problem that needs resolving is about the costs of variations, it can be referred to a highly experienced and impartial chartered quantity surveyor.

The CAP Professional would undertake an investigative role. They would, if appropriate, visit the relevant project site and talk to people who do the work and/or oversee delivery of the project. The CAP Professional would endeavour to get a clear understanding of the problem and apply their experience to provide a report with fully reasoned recommendations on how matters ought to be resolved.

Each party will normally bear its own costs and expenses and will bear in equal share the remuneration and expenses of the CAP Professional.  Companies using CAP can promote their support by signing the Conflict Avoidance Pledge.

Conflict Avoidance Coalition chair Len Bunton thanked FIS for their support through the Coalition and added:

“I am greatly encouraged at the number of FIS members who are Signatories to the Pledge. The process is all about early intervention to ensure that issues on projects do not escalate into costly and time-consuming disputes. Wherever possible, I am working with FIS members to have this embedded into contracts, and I am 100% sure this will reduce the number of payment and cash flow issues currently surfacing”.

FIS Member and Pledge signatory John O’Connell, Managing Director of  O’Connell’s Drywall stated:

“By signing the conflict avoidance pledge this demonstrates to our clients and supply chain that that we are committed to sending clear and consistent applications and expect the same in return with payments, this assists regular payments and cashflow and enables us to pay our suppliers on time. This also enables us to build strong ongoing business relationships with our supply chain and clients.By doing this providing consistency to all enables us all to have reduced stress and concentrate on our core businesses.”

Conflict Avoidance Process

Find out more about the proccess and sign up to the pledge