Covid-19 Recovery Scheme

Straight to the Point...

Lawyers and claims consultants are promoting a claims strategy for when the industry returns to work.  We advocate an alternative means of supporting construction businesses and their Clients post lockdown.  We call this our Covid-19 Recovery Scheme.  Details are provided below but simply put, at no immediate cost to you, we will review your position through our helpdesk then, once cash is flowing again, we will release to you our Review of your contractual position and recommend an action plan to support your business going forward.  Our focus is on sharing risk and bringing relationships together for the benefit of the project.  However, where appropriate we will recommend you put your claim straight through to adjudication.

Click on the help button to go straight to the Helpdesk or read on for more.

Covid-19 Helpdesk

A common problem...

Covid-19 is impacting the construction industry with projects facing supply chain issues, productivity issues and measures being put in place to ensure the health and safety of what remains of the workforce.  Initial confusion over whether construction was an essential service or not didn't help with some clients closing sites and some contractors closing then reopening sites.  Of course, it goes without saying that this is an unprecedented situation which affects not just business but family life eveywhere.  Cash, that essential lifeblood of the industry, is tight for all.

The obvious response...

Not unexpectedly, people are looking at their contractual position to see how it has been affected by the pandemic.  Articles on force majeure and legal frustration abound, yet are inconclusive.  Many contractors have approached their claims consultants to assist them in serving notices  but many cannot afford to do so at this time.  All are right to do this - and at the same time, wrong.

A better solution...

Whilst most contracts contain provisions that deal with unexpected events, and the law has principles to cover this, no-one anticipated the disruptive effect of Covid-19.  A headlong rush into adjudication (and with the risk of subsequent enforcement, litigation or arbitration) will serve only to create additional uncertainty and risk.  There needs to be a careful consideration of the substantive law as it applies to this novel situation.  Parties cannot continue as if nothing has happened or simply declare that frustration has brought them to an end.  If commercial life is to go on then a rational and equiable solution must be found.  As the economy begins to reopen, the better approach therefore is to encourage parties to negotiate rather than focus on their contractual rights which, in any event, are going to be uncertain.  

Our Covid-19 related services...

Recognising the financial difficulties posed for all involved in the construction industry, Beckwith Mediation has developed its Covid-19 Recovery Scheme.  If you are an employer, Main Contractor, Specialist or legal adviser with a client requiring initial advice and direction then this Scheme is for you.

We will, without charge, assess your contractual position and prepare a short Review document.  When you are ready to resume work and cash is flowing for you once more, we will release the Review to you for a small, pre-determined, fee.  There is no obligation on you as we take the risk that you do not wish subsequently to call for the Review.  

The Review will set out your contractual options and provide advice for moving forward in accordance with the principles we have stated above.  Whilst we are well known for our Mediation services, the Review, without pre-judging matters, will most likely recommend Conciliation as a way forward.  Where matters are better referred to adjudication then this will be the advice we provide.

Conciliation is an alternative dispute resolution process whereby the parties to a dispute use a conciliator who meets with the parties both seperately and together in an attempt to resolve differences.  We do this by lowering tensions, improving communications, excouraging parties to explore potential solutions and assisting parties in finding a mutually acceptable outcome.

Conciliation differs from Mediation in that we work beside the parties to get things moving again without confrontation.  This differs from Mediation where we necessarily adopt an impartial stance.

To start the process, simply visit our Helpdesk and lodge a request.  It's easy to use and socially responsible.  We can always follow up with you via Skype, Teams or Zoom if we need to discuss matters with you.

Covid-19 Helpdesk

We look forward to hearing from you.  In the meantime, #StaySafe.