Jon Aikman's Blog Thoughts on Mediation and Project Management
  • Clarifying points of law is a costly business

    A recent case in the Technology and Construction Court, Walter Lilly v McKay has been creating a flurry of comments about the legal principles. I have read about what the case means for concurrent delay and legal professional privilege but as a project manager and a mediator What really interests me is, how did it all happen?

    As a project manager one of my concerns in protecting a client’s interests is to avoid disputes. Although I don’t know the particulars of this project, there doesn’t seem to be anything technically challenging or innovative about the construction, there were no hidden surprises or unusual circumstances. It seems to be the old story of differing expectations and lack of communication.

    So, while the case seems to offer new perspectives for the legal profession for me it only reinforces basic principles of dispute avoidance. Basic principles of making sure the appropriate contract is used, costs and progress are
    monitored and controlled and above all else proper
    communication takes place at all levels at all times so that everyone involved knows what to expect.

    I offer a project management service to clients that are not familiar with the construction process and how the construction industry operates. Cases like this highlight why such a service is necessary. Whatever clarification of legal principles this case might bring about it doesn’t change the fact that disputes should be avoided. I keep my clients away from disputes because all that happens is that they fund the clarification of legal principals instead of funding a cost effective building.

    Published on August 14, 2012 · Filed under: Mediation, Project Management;
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