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Construction sector supports new conflict avoidance pledge

Construction / 05 May 2020

The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) has endorsed the “Conflict Avoidance Pledge” developed by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). The new initiative will help tackle, and to avoid, issues arising from the Coronavirus pandemic.

The construction industry has always been torn apart by contractual disputes as blame is thrown around. The current pandemic has already given and will continue to give rise to arguments between companies that have different attitudes both towards workers’ safety (which we have covered in previous updates) and also in relation to how contracts should be (and can be) progressed.

However, the RICS pledge is designed to “encourage all organisations to consider their working practices and the way they deal with disputes”. Under the pledge, clients and contractors commit to implementing conflict avoidance measures in their contracts and on-site. The pledge has been designed to reduce the financial costs of disputes and helps projects be delivered on time and in the budget.

The pledge is voluntary, but the hope is that it might help drive a cultural shift. There is no fee to become a signatory, and once you have made your pledge, you can display the pledge’s logo on promotional materials.

When an organisation signs the pledge, it means they are committed to:

  • Working proactively to avoid conflict and facilitating the early resolution of potential disputes;
  • Developing their capability in the early identification of potential disputes and in the use of conflict avoidance measures;
  • Promoting the value of collaborative working to prevent issues from developing into disputes;
  • Working with industry partners to identify, promote, and utilise conflict avoidance mechanisms.

The chair of CLC, Andy Mitchell, believes “Preventing the escalation of problems with the delivery of construction projects into disputes is in the best interests of the whole supply chain and will save the industry significant time and money”.

Several professional bodies in the construction and engineering sectors have signed up to the pledge, including the Institute of Civil Engineers, Royal Institute of British Architects, Transport for London and Network Rail.

You can sign up for the conflict avoidance pledge
, via RICS’ website.


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This update is for general purposes and guidance only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. You should seek legal advice before relying on its content. This update relates to the prevailing circumstances at the date of its original publication and may not have been updated to reflect subsequent developments. If you have general queries about our updates, please email:

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