RICS has begun providing a low value construction adjudication service aimed at helping SMEs with a simple and cost-effective procedure that will make solving contract disputes more accessible and quicker for lower value claims, and free up SME cash flow.
The RICS service will operate in accordance with the ground-breaking CIC Low Value Disputes Model Adjudication Procedure (LVD MAP) procedure.
The service is aimed at disputes where the amounts claimed are for £50,000 or less, and the issues in dispute are relatively uncomplicated. In the light of the impact of the coronavirus on the industry, there is a renewed call for an easy to use method. RICS have set up a high-quality panel of RICS adjudicators who have been trained to deliver the service.
RICS is a key supporter of the CIC LVD MAP, which was set up as a direct response to concerns that adjudication had become too costly and complex for smaller amounts and has been involved in its development over the last two years.**
John Fletcher, RICS’ Global Director of Dispute Resolution Services, said: “RICS is very supportive of the CIC’s best practice guidelines and as a professional body who can provide adjudication services is happy to be able implement our service sooner to support small businesses in these extraordinarily challenging times. With cashflow a growing issue for the sector, this service offers a realistic opportunity for SMEs in the construction industry to have disputes resolved cheaply and effectively, where they might previously have found the costs and complexity of adjudication to be prohibitive.
Constructiony Minister, Nadhim Zahawi, said: “This new, more transparent process will offer access to justice for small and medium sized companies in the construction industry – helping ensure small disputes are resolved quickly, cheaply and effectively. We welcome the work of the CIC and RICS in developing this initiative.”
The LVD MAP complies with the Construction Act and includes an uncomplicated timetable and structure. It provides a flexible, yet simple to understand, approach to the key elements of the adjudication process and can reduce the amount of reliance parties may need to place on professional representation. Crucially, the procedure is relatively inexpensive, and both sides will know beforehand how much the adjudicator will charge and how much each will have to pay.