We’ve been in construction claims and dispute resolution for a long time. As a company, it’s nearly 30 years, collectively… let’s not go there. In that time we have found that there are two very important and often overlooked factors in winning or settling a claim:

  • Self-reflection
  • And being realistic

Most construction claims consultants start by promising clients the earth. It’s an attractive offer, especially to the angry, stressed and/or cash strapped. The narrative that pins the whole issue on the other party and that looks at everything you did right is certainly reassuring and ego-boosting. However, it’s not very practical.

What’s your role in construction claims?

What we have found is that the best route to success and tangible optimism, lies in looking at what you yourself did wrong. Where is your side of the story flawed? What are the holes in it? In essence, look at things from the other party’s point of view.

It’s not enough to have a claims consultant who simply looks at what you think the other party has done badly. You need to take a critical look at your own side of the story. Not only will that help to understand the situation better, but it will also result in a more successful outcome for you and a more productive outcome for the project as a whole.

This ability to self-reflect in order to protect our clients’ interests is central to what makes Tungsten Capital different.

Be realistic about conflict resolution

The other thing that’s fundamental to successful conflict resolution, is being realistic about what you’re going to get out of it. Just because you think you’re owed £X, doesn’t mean that’s what you’re going to get. That doesn’t mean that you should aim for less than what’s fair, but it does mean that if someone promises you everything and more, you should probably be a little bit suspicious.

When claims and disputes occur, it’s usually the result of a number of things having come together in a perfect storm. If things really escalate then it usually means problems have been ignored. It’s never an entirely clear cut situation. We’re big fans of trying to handle disputes early so it never reaches a point of total toxicity, and we always prefer to get around a table and find a mutually agreeable solution.

However, even when things reach litigation and arbitration, we always encourage a healthy dose of realism. That doesn’t mean we won’t shoot for the stars, but it does mean that you are less likely to walk away with nothing (we can’t recall a situation where that’s actually occurred), and it also means that other less tangible ‘wins’ can also be protected – such as preserved relationships and industry reputation.

If you would like to find out more about our approach to construction claims and dispute resolution, contact the team at Tungsten Capital to arrange a consultation.