As part of its legal seminar programme, the Qatar International Court and Dispute Resolution Centre (QICDRC) has held a seminar on alternative dispute resolution in the construction industry.
The seminar was presented by a panel of three experts comprising Joseph Huse and Karen McGrath from the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) and Sultan al-Abdulla, founder and managing partner of Sultan Al-Abdulla and Partners. Many persons were in attendance including counsel from the private sector and governmental organisations, as well as lawyers, academics, construction engineers and other professionals.
During the seminar, the representatives of the SC for the first time discussed openly their philosophy behind dispute resolution clauses contained within their construction contracts. As regards the alternative dispute resolution environment contained within the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC), McGrath observed that “owners and contractors in the State of Qatar are still awaiting the revised QFC law to be issued which will enhance the ADR environment in the State of Qatar considerably, including in relation to the construction sector”.
Sultan al-Abdulla discussed the legal framework relating to construction contracts and indicated the different risks associated with contractual drafting. He demonstrated the legal dilemmas that normally arise when implementing contracts and suggested remedies for avoiding and overcoming these obstacles.
Faisal al-Sahouti, the CEO of the QICDRC, stressed the importance of executing governmental construction contracts on time and to settle any disputes arising out of them through effective dispute resolution mechanisms.
He observed that construction contracts are complicated and have a special nature owing to the inherent risks involved. Without an effective dispute resolution method, the only option may be recourse to the domestic courts which may take time to resolve the matter with projects being delayed and consequential losses and damage being suffered by the parties as a result. Thus, dispute resolution clauses need careful consideration.
Al-Sahouti commended the SC strategy which he stated was in line with best international standards. He added that the QICDRC has always supported awareness of ADR, particularly in construction contracts, through its seminar programmes and related activities.
The panellists gave the audience the opportunity to ask questions and a lively question and answer session commenced.
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