Following its consultation in 2018, the Construction Industry Council (CIC) has recently published the First Edition of the CIC Model Mediation Agreement and Procedure (MMAP). During the consultation process, Niall Lawless, Chair of the CIC’s Adjudicator Nominating Body, encouraged all stakeholders to become involved to ensure that the CIC was able to provide a truly robust process.
“…mediation saves disputing parties money and time, it engenders practical solutions and it preserves and restores relationships” – Niall Lawless Chair CIC Adjudicator Nominating Body
Describing it as an “innovative approach to low-cost resolution of disputes”, the CIC aims to alleviate the financial and emotional costs involved in construction and engineering disputes with the implementation of the MMAP.
The MMAP is supported by a panel comprised of accredited mediators with at least 10 years’ PQE in their primary profession. This supports CIC’s view that where a dispute turns on issues of fact, an evaluative approach carried out by experienced industry specialists is the most prudent.
A key component of the MMAP is the role of the lead negotiator. A party who has authority to settle the dispute and who, throughout the process, remains in direct contact with the mediator and thereby mitigating the risk of the parties representatives transmuting the mediator’s message.
For disputes worth less than £100,000 (plus VAT) the mediator’s costs are fixed at £6,000. Similar to other forms of mediation the MMAP envisages four phases.
- Mediation Procedural Agreement – which sets the background to the dispute and claims and sets out the timetable;
- Case Summaries – prepared by each party including all relevant details and supporting documentation to be submitted no less than 7 days ahead of the mediation meetings;
- Separate Meetings – the mediator will meet with each party separately to ascertain the respective pinch points; and
- Joint Meetings – a round table meeting conducted in five stages.
As a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution, mediation offers a confidential and structured means for parties to resolve disputes and maintain a business relationship.