RICS has developed, in cooperation with other bodies representing the property, construction and infrastructure sector, as well as other organisations active in the field of ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution), a pledge aimed at embedding conflicts avoidance into projects. By signing the pledge, businesses, organisations and public authorities commit to proactively avoid conflict where possible, to employ methods to identify emerging disputes at an early stage and to work with industry partners to promote and utilise mechanisms to nip them in the bud.
The benefit of adopting the pledge is to identify, control and manage potential conflicts, whilst preventing the need for formal, adversarial dispute resolution procedures.
Disputes in the construction, land, infrastructure and real estate sector are increasing in number, and the cost for the industry and wider economy is immense. (e.g.: only in the construction sector the average value of a disputes was US$ 46 million across the globe in 2015 and the global average length of disputes was 15.5 months).
Conflict also causes immeasurable harm to business relationships and brand or even public sector reputation, as well as being extremely slow and difficult to resolve. When problems occur, projects are frequently delivered behind schedule, over budget, and quality is often undermined.
“As an organisation, RICS believes in collaborative working and the use of early intervention mechanisms to resolve differences of opinion before they escalate into disputes. Our mission is to provide the industry with the right expertise and support on how conflicts can be avoided and, if disputes do arise, how early intervention procedures can achieve quick and effective resolution.” Alessandra de Lisio, DRS Manager at RICS (Europe).
At the same time, building-up on forty years of experience in providing conflict avoidance and resolution services in the UK, RICS offers now its mediation services in other European countries, with a focus on France, the Netherlands and Poland, where there is growing demand. In these countries, RICS professionals are often required by both private parties and local authorities to play the role of independent experts in the solution of complex issues related to the enforcement of contracts or to the delivery of projects.
In Europe, despite the efforts of the European Commission to promote Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), the range of opportunities offered by mediation is not yet fully exploited. The advantage of using an RICS Accredited Mediator in a dispute related to real estate, property and construction, is that he speaks the same language of the parties and knows exactly what the underlying interests are.
RICS mediators are trained to identify the strategies adopted by parties during the mediation process, to understand what they are trying to achieve and to help them overcoming communication barriers. The role of the mediator is not to suggest a solution to the dispute but to guide the parties towards the negotiation of a new agreement. Together with a simple and agile procedure, mediation offers the parties the advantage of being the owners of the settlement.
“The agreement reached as a result of a mediation process is not necessarily dictated by legal considerations, but represents a pragmatic and business-friendly solution whose advantage is to preserve the contractual relationship between the parties”. Monika Dębska-Pastakia FRICS, Partner at Knight Frank, RICS Accredited Mediator in Poland.
To sign the pledge, please go to www.rics.org/capledge