On 15 May 2018, CRCICA organized a seminar on “Dispute Boards: FIDIC Contracts”. The speaker was Dr. Eng. Sherif El-Haggan, Main Partner & CEO of Sherif EL-Haggan & Partner (Contract Administration & Arbitration Bureau), Professor of Construction Law at ESS (AUC), AAST, Cairo and Ain Shams Universities. The seminar shed light on the effectiveness of Dispute Boards (DBs) in resolving disputes related to construction industry contracts as DBs prevent accumulation of claims and future disputes during the construction phase.
Attendees were able to get acquainted with DB’s Decisions which are often used to reach an amicable settlement where the parties are able to perform educated negotiations after becoming aware of their entitlements from a reasoned decision issued by a trusted DB.
Dr. El-Haggan highlighted a very important feature of DB related to the choice of DB members as the parties play a much more active role in the appointment of the DB Members when compared with, e.g. an arbitral tribunal, and thus are much more confident with the DB’s decisions. Dr. El-Haggan also stressed that DBs are much more effective if the parties agree that the DB Decisions are binding.
An excellent example involving a referral related to variation orders and claims for damages was introduced to the audience; where the DB was requested to clarify detailed matters related to which events warrant the addition of a profit element and recommended percentages of overheads and profits. Following the DB decision, 250 variations were agreed by the parties on the basis of the details indicated in the DB decision.
The seminar ended on an interesting Q & A session and witnessed a diversity of participants from the following business sectors: engineering and construction, cost control and contracts, contracts administration, real estate development, projects management, investment, dispute resolution as well as members of law firms.