Patrick Waterhouse and Rob Gerrard have written NEC4 Resolving and Avoiding Disputes, a ground breaking book on dispute avoidance and resolution in NEC Contracts. The advice is written with NEC contracts in mind but much of its advice relates to any type of commercial contract.

The authors have relied on their own experiences in the industry and on wise counsel from others. The techniques that contribute towards dispute avoidance also assist parties in successfully resolving disputes. The message to those managing contracts is clear - do what the contract requires you to do and you should be successful in many respects: time, money, quality and relationships. If disputes do arise - and they can do even in the best-run contracts - then the earlier hard work should help you in adjudication and at the tribunal.

The book considers the NEC4 Engineering and Construction Contract  in detail and looks in less detail at dispute resolution in other NEC4 contracts. An explanation of the new NEC4 Dispute Resolution Service Contract is provided, including its role in appointing people to the Dispute Avoidance Boards.

Rob and Patrick are leading commercial mediators and their mediation practices allow them an insight into what creates disputes and what is, therefore, needed to avoid disputes and the consequential costs and damaged relationships.  Patrick is a construction adjudicator and a member of 9 panels of adjudicators.  He regularly adjudicates disputes under all the UK standard forms of contract and other contracts such as those created for the UK Government’s private finance initiative.  Patrick and Rob’s combined experiences in working with disputing parties has convinced them of the need for collaborative contracts such as NEC and to follow the processes that are designed to strengthen relationships.  They remain of the view that NEC contracts can, where implemented properly by the right people, contribute to projects that are effective in terms of cost, time and quality.


This book explains how successful implementation can be generated.  It also offers an alternative explanation of what needs to be done if disputes are encountered.


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New NEC commentary - NEC4 Resolving and Avoiding Disputes