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Conference Report
 
Arbitration and Amicable Dispute Resolutions in the Construction Industry
 

Title: Arbitration & ADR in the Construction Industry 
Date: 13th – 14th of November 
Venue: Auditorium-Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry 
Organized by: Dubai International Arbitration Centre 
Hosted by: Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry 
Sponsored by: The International Federation of Consulting Engineers “FIDIC” European - International Contractors “EIC”

Conference Subject: 
The importance of this conference is legendary as it deals with the most important economic sectors in the region and in some instances in the world. Contractual relations, which have become a main topic of discussion among many international organizations, were the main theme for discussion throughout the duration of this event. The importance of this subject has grown due to disputes arising from the execution of contracts affecting cost of project completion. The Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC) has become a necessity in the role of promoting legal awareness on both an internal and a regional level, as well as, offering the most suitable solutions with the intention of avoiding complications in construction related contracts, through offering well respected services in solving disputes through professional arbitrators with rapid and low cost procedures that cannot be achieved through courts.

Summary about the Conference: 
This conference took place over a two day period in the auditorium of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry on the 13th and 14th of November 2005.

The date of the conference coincided with the date of the third meeting of the Dubai International Arbitration Centre Board of Trustees which was held on the 12th of November 2005.

The opening speech was addressed by His Excellency Doctor Ahmed Saif Belhasa, Board member of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry Executive Committee Member, Founder and Chairman of the UAE Contractors’ Association, President of Arab Contractors Federation, and President of Confederation of International Contractors’ Association (CICA). Dr. Belhasa welcomed the audience and pointed out the importance of the topics and issues to be raised. He praised the organizers’ efforts and wished the audience a pleasant and fruitful conference.

The opening speech was addressed by his Highness Prince Bandar Bin Salman Al Saoud Advisor of His Majesty King of Saudi Arabia, President of Saudi Arbitration Team. Dr. Bandar expressed his great pleasure in participating in a conference that holds such importance in the Gulf as its topics are related to the Construction and International Revolution. His Highness stressed the point that Arbitration became an International, Regional and local demand that has been regulated by laws and international agreements according to the legal system in each country. Dr. Bandar thanked the organizers for their efforts and hospitality.

Professor Dr. J Martin Hunter Chairman of the DIAC, Professor of International Dispute Resolution, Nottingham Law School, addressed the audience expressing the fast development that DIAC had witnessed due to the vast increase of the number of Arbitration cases handled by the Centre, 75% of which are related to the issue of Construction. Dr. Hunter went on to deal with the issue of choosing arbitrators in the Centre and the process of modernizing the rules of Dubai International Arbitration Centre to match with the most recent rules in International Arbitration. He concluded by praising Dubai stating that one can find the old and the new interacting harmoniously. He also congratulated Dubai as a place where religions and cultures co-exist amazingly without affecting majority Islamic traditions. Professor Hunter thanked the audience, wished them a pleasant stay in Dubai and a beneficial conference after which, conference sessions began successfully.

The Speakers and the Subjects: 
Throughout this forum, elite speakers from around the world were gathered as experts, including those fluent in the field of contract dispute resolution with great experience in FIDIC Contracts and in the International Arbitration rules, Chairmen of International Arbitration Centers, writers of books which are references in the world of Arbitration and Contracts Dispute Settlements where allowed to voice and raise various opinions. We are going to cover briefly their most important achievements by including their individual CV's.

Throughout the conference those chosen as speakers submitted their individual working papers. Said papers covered a variety of subjects related to construction contracts and new trends in this field. They also covered well known and petty disputes prominent to the Arabian Gulf and defined how to choose arbitrators or lawyers along with a brief introduction entailing the advantages and challenges that face Arbitration in Dubai.

The following subjects where discussed:

First Session: Disputology and risk with particular reference to the Gulf
Chairman Dr. Fathi Kemicha Member of the International Law Commission (ILC) of the United Nations Member of the DIAC Board of Trustees and Executive Committee

Working Papers Presented in the Session: 
Recent Developments on the meaning of “Dispute” and their effect on dispute resolution in the construction contract.

HH Humphrey Lloyd QC ( Judge, technology and Construction Court, London 1993-2005 )
The apportionment of risk under the construction contract. 
Patrick Lane ( Queens Council –South Africa ) 
The consequences of an imbalance in the allocation of risk. 
Robert Akenhead ( Queens Council –United Kingdom ) 
The Consequences of risk under the construction contract

Afterwards there was a discussion covering the session’s subjects. The speakers answered different questions raised by the audience as to enrich conference subjects.

Second session: Some recent developments in construction contracts 
Chairman Mr. George Pierson ( Director, Pecker and Abramson International Construction Practice Group) 
Working Papers Presented in the Session 
Dr. G. Nael Al Bunni ( Senior Director- Bunni and Associates; Member of FIDIC contract committee, Chairman of Dubai International Arbitration Centre.) 
The 1999 FIDIC contracts for major works- what improvements do they offer with reference to the standard forms in the Gulf and what problems they create 
Recent developments which were added in the constructions contract, which includes the 2005 commentary on ‘Multi-Lateral’ development bank harmonized construction. 
Mr. Eric Eggink ( Member of the European International Contractors Legal Working Group (EIC) ) 
Contractors Guides, including commentary on the 2005 Multi-lateral development Banks’ harmonized construction contract

Third Session: Conflict and most recurring claims in the Gulf region: 
Chairman: Mr. Majed Garoub ( Director- Law Firm of Majed Garoub, Saudi Arabia ) 
Working Papers Presented in the Session:

Peter Mills Attorney ( Routledge, Modise, Moss, Morris ) 
Categories of claims and damages 
Mark Blanksby ( Resident partner, Masons Galadari, UAE ) 
Delay & Disruption 
Don Harvey ( Managing Director-Navigant Consulting, Inc. London ) 
The Society of construction law protocol on delay 
Philip Capper ( Partner, Lovells- Head of Engineering Projects Practice Nash Professor of Engineering Law, Kings College, London ) 
Variation and unforeseen Circumstances

Second Day:

First Session: When risks eventuate and disputes arise: prevention and resolution 
Chairman: His Excellency Abdullah Salman Al-Amri Director General of Sharjah Municipality

Working Papers Given in the Session: 
Martin Harman ( Chairman, Pinsent Masons ) 
Tiered dispute resolution in construction contracts 
Charlie Manzoni ( Full time Barrister and International Arbitrator ) 
Dispute boards for prevention and resolution
Neil Kearney ( Legal Counsel, law offices of Derek Elliot, Paris, France ) 
Methods of amicable dispute resolution, including expert determination and ICC expertise procedure. HH Humphrey Lloyd QC Judge ( Technology and Construction Court, London 1993-2005 ) 
Arbitration

Second Session: Getting the arbitral tribunal to understand 
Chairman: Dr. Jacques Warner General Manager of Warner and his assistances – Geneva, Switzerland – member of DIAC

Working Papers Given in the Session: 
Patrick Lane ( Queens Council South Africa ) 
Choice of Arbitrator
Charles Adams ( Managing Partner in Geneva and United States accompanied by the company (Winston Western) and the group manager (Winston Western) for arbitrary , Member of Trustees Board of DIAC. ) 
Choice of Advocate 
Michael Schneider ( Managing Partner – Lalive and Partners, International Law- Geneva, Vice Chair- ICC Arbitration Commission; Member of DIAC Board of Trustees. ) 
Use of experts- Party appointed and tribunal appointed experts

Third Session: A Demonstration of a hearing with experts An extension of the morning session with the experts

Working Papers Given in the Session: 
In this session there were no working papers. The demonstration involved a vivid presentation of a hearing session for virtual Dispute Resolution. A group of arbitration experts shared the different roles in a perfect performance that attracted the audience and gave vitality to the session. The participant’s roles were distributed as follows: 

Choice of Advocate: 
Allegation Team: Charles Adams 
Allegation expert: Dr. Nael Al Bunni 
Defendant Team: Defendant Advocate: Nicholas Collings – Atkins Chamber, London 
Defendant Expert: Arta Alkaremi, lawyer from Peckar and Abramson 
Arbitration Panel: Neil Kerani, Dr. Hadef Al Owais, Michael Schneider

Fourth Session Dispute resolution under the DIAC: the latest developments 
Chairman: Dr. Hadef Al Owais Managing Partner- Owais and Mansfield Advocates and Legal Consultants, UAE; vice chairman of DIAC Board of Trustees

Working Papers Presented in the Session: 
Professor Dr. Hans Van Houtte ( Arbitrator at the Claims Resolution Tribunal for Dormant Accounts in Switzerland Member of (DIAC) Board of Trustees ) 
The Legal Framework 
Dr. Jaques Werner ( Principle- Werner and Associates, Geneva, Switzerland Member of DIAC Board of Trustees ) 
Introduction of New Rules and main features 
Dr. Hussam Talhuni ( Director –Dubai International Arbitration Centre ) 
Why Arbitrate in Dubai: The Advantages and the Challenges

Formal Summary and Closing Remarks: 
Dr. Nael G. Bunni ( Senior Director, Bunni and Associates- Member of (FIDIC) Contract Manager Executive Committee and Member of (DIAC) Board of Trustees )

Accompanying Events and Entertainments: 
Dubai International Arbitration Centre holds a great interest in the ability of participants of such conferences to be able to combine the benefits of knowledge with social pleasures. Accordingly the Centre arranged hospitable social events: two lunches in Dubai Creek Sheraton Hotel, the first day sponsored by Pecker Abramson, the second day sponsored by the law firm of Majed Al Garoub. Both lunch occasions had a touch of fines and were a good chance for participants to get better acquainted with one another.

Other events included the distinguished first day Mina A’Salam dinner party sponsored by Masons Galadari. Participants were pleased by the beautiful setting, as well as, the high standards in a variety of food options.

The second dinner party took place in Jumeirah Beach Hotel and was sponsored by Atkins Chambers. The party was in the open air on the sea side opposite the beautiful Burj al Arab Hotel. It was distinguished by marvelous lighting, and beautiful flute instrumentals, in addition to, the variety of delicious dishes.

Audience and Participants: 
The inauguration of the conference was characterized by the presence of important personalities headed by his Highness Prince Bandar Bin Salman and Dr. Ahmad Saif Belhassa, whom are amongst the most important international personalities in the filed of Arbitration. Over 280 participants from different parts of the world and of different professional sectors including Judges, Lawyers, Legal Consultants and Engineers.

Media Coverage: 
The opening ceremony of the conference was attended by many journalists and was fully covered in the next day.

From the beginning of the preparation for the conference, the Centre developed a full coverage plan for the event. The Centre arranged daily contacts and press interviews with the media to cover the news of the event and to supply information about the Centre. Newspapers followed the event with great interest by publishing articles about its sessions. However, those specialized in the construction industry were particularly interested in detailed coverage of the event.

On the 4th of June 2005, the Centre invited the media for a press conference, which was recorded by Dubai television to be televised in the “Emirates News” programme.

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