The public sector is characterised by a political dimension, together with issues about funding, accountability and authority, from the Treasury and the central government departments responsible to specific universities, National Health Service (NHS) trusts or local authorities. This in turn means that Public Sector disputes can often have specialist characteristics that require our experienced mediators and neutrals to assist in finding appropriate resolutions which are acceptable and workable within specific parameters and on different levels.
PFI and PPP disputes
Infrastructure projects are usually large scale, long term, high profile, and involving multiple parties in complicated financial structures and contractual relationships. Within the UK, over 900 projects have a public-private focus involving the procurement of buildings, facilities management and construction services by public sector bodies, most commonly funded with private capital through the PFI initiative.
When difficulties occur, whether in relation to interpretation or application of contract terms, unforeseen cost over-runs, re-financing difficulties, termination of contracts, defect claims, or disputes between contractor and subcontractors, the impact on the project life cycle and costs can be immense. Appropriate dispute resolution mechanisms are usually clearly highlighted within the underlying contracts, but nevertheless clients need the support of experienced neutrals who are well versed in the complexities of these arrangements.
CEDR's specialist team in this sector includes lawyers, ex judges, surveyors, architects, public sector and construction professionals. With experience in projects of all sizes both in the UK and internationally, they are routinely appointed to assist in early negotiations, ongoing project relationship support, and the quick resolution of disputes.
Our highly experienced mediators and neutrals can also assist with consultancy assignments to develop organisational capability and capacity for resolving conflict including dispute systems design, introducing mediation, developing formal policies and procedures, establishing informal communication protocols and coaching managers and teams through change.