It is nearly 25 years since Sir Michael Latham produced what is widely regarded as the definitive report on the adjudication process.

Although much progress has been made in this alternative dispute resolution progress in South Africa, and indeed in Africa in general, it is probably a good time to reflect on some of the essentials of the ‘Constructing the Team’ report as it was known.

The recommendations below were identified as necessary to avoid or at least minimize construction disputes.

What was identified 25 years ago seem to be still valid-this begs the question: What have we learnt in 25 years??

  • Implementation begins with clients
  • The state of the wider economy remains crucial to the industry. Many of the problems described in the Interim Report, and also addressed in this Final Report, are made more serious by economic difficulties
  • Preparing the project, contract strategies and brief requires patience and practical advice
  • A checklist of design responsibilities should be prepared
  • Use of Co-ordinated Project Information should be a contractual requirement
  • Endlessly refining existing conditions of contract will not solve adversarial problems. A set of basic principles is required on which modern contracts can be based. A complete family of interlocking documents is also required
  • Tender list arrangements should be rationalised, and clear guidance issued
  • Tenders should be evaluated by clients on quality as well as price
  • Advice should also be issued on partnering arrangements

The Latham Report gave rise to adjudication as we know it today.

To learn more about adjudication and dispute resolution we suggest you attend our one-day workshop entitled ADJUDICATION AND DISPUTE AVOIDANCE, which will be launched in the New Year.

Reference: Constructing the Team, Sir Michael Latham, Joint Review of Procurement and Contractual Arrangements in the United Kingdom Construction Industry,1994