I have just got back to Australia following another excellent conference of the Dispute Review Board Foundation, this time in Singapore.
After a somewhat slow start, compared to the United States, review boards (or Dispute Avoidance Boards as they are often now known here) are picking up fast in Australia. So far, it seems, there have been boards set up on some 57 projects and, so far, every one has succeeded in avoiding any disputes getting as far as litigation, arbitration or adjudication. That is a remarkable record, which surely cannot last for ever, but which speaks very well of the system.
Tomorrow (13th May 2014) I will be talking for the RICS in Sydney. The topic is Security of Payment – Moving towards Impartiality.
Justice McDougall will be talking first, and I was slightly dismayed to read an advance copy of his paper, since he has said pretty much everything there is to be said about the current law of Australia on this topic.
For the last year or so I have chaired the Australian Legislation Reform Subcommittee of the Society of Construction Law Australia. I has taken us quite a while to complete our report on adjudication of construction disputes, but we got there in the end.
It would be hard not to notice that the world has been getting more virtual as more and more communication is effected through electronic means. In Australia (Victoria leading the way) more and more barristers are practising through what are – in effect – virtual chambers. As long as you have a decent telephone line, a decent internet connection and a decent printer, one can base oneself more or less anywhere.
In recent times, I have found that – most days – I have gone into chambers for no other reason than that is where my desk is and where my papers are. So I have shifted Continue reading →