Utilizing ADR to resolve construction disputes : A quantitative survey of Scottish legal practitioners' awareness and experiences

Agapiou, Andrew (2011) Utilizing ADR to resolve construction disputes : A quantitative survey of Scottish legal practitioners' awareness and experiences. In: COBRA 2011 - Proceedings of RICS Construction and Property Conference. Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, London, pp. 12-23. ISBN 9781907842191

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Abstract

It is widely documented that legal practitioners perform a gate-keeping role, advising clients on the most appropriate form of dispute resolution for particular cases (Agapiou & Clark, 2010). It would be interesting to ask whether the attitudes of the legal fraternity in Scotland creates a real limit on what could be implemented by a government that seeks to promote novel means of dispute disposal as part of its civil justice reform agenda. Drawn from questionnaire -based research, the aim of this paper is to establish lawyers' awareness, attitudes and experiences of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). Despite the small sample used in this study, there is evidence that more education in ADR procedures and their application could provide further opportunity to develop them as settlement tools in Scotland by building on more positive aspects of responses within the survey. Only some in the legal fraternity have embraced the challenge of what the study has found to be regarded widely as an opportunity. Further education, training and publication of successful execution may be necessary to convince doubters that ADR needs to be part of the menu of methods of dispute resolution for the modern practitioner.