FIS Consultant Len Bunton continues with the theme of getting paid, and what options are open to FIS members. These monthly Blogs are designed to help FIS Members avoid common traps and build on our focus on collective experience. 

My Blogs to date have attempted to share some ideas about improving the commercial management of your contracts. In other words, instilling best practice into the way FIS members run and manage their business. What I have endeavored to suggest is ways to ensure you get paid on time, and what you are due.

This time I want to talk about two issues. First the Conflict Avoidance Process, or CAP and Adjudication

How does CAP work? Let us say that issues are developing on a project, and you cannot get these resolved so you can go to the RICS to get a completely independent person to come in and to assist both sides to find a resolution, and then move forward. That person can make binding or non-binding recommendations to both sides. It is not a case of saying “you are right, and the other party is wrong” and it is a way of finding a path forward. The process has been successfully trialed on a number of projects for Transport for London and they have confirmed they have made significant costs savings in claims and legal fees etc.

I recently used this process for a client who could not get a Final Account resolved so both sides agreed to use CAP, and we had an experienced QS appointed who made binding recommendations and this brought the matter to an end.

What do you need to do next? Google RICS Conflict Avoidance Pledge and you can sign up, and it only takes a few minutes. Thereafter RICS will contact you and send you some material and you can then embed CAP into your business. I am helping a few FIS Members with this. You can also see who else has signed the Pledge.

What happens if you cannot get issues resolved and you are into a full-blown dispute. Regrettably, you might have to refer the dispute to Adjudication. That can be an expensive business, and even if you get a Decision in your favor then you might still not get paid.

However, there are two Schemes in place which are aimed at “smaller” disputes, and I have attached a link below. The Low Value Scheme is for disputes up to £50k, and the benefit is that there are fixed costs for the Adjudicator, so you know what you are getting into.

The Summary Procedure is for disputes up to £20k in value, and the Adjudicators fees are capped at £1k.

Adjudication Services (

FIS publishes short blogs by its Consultant Len Bunton on contractual and commercial issues he experiences when supporting FIS members and the wider community – it is designed to help FIS Members avoid common traps and build on the FIS focus on collective experience. The blogs are published fortnightly as FIS member only content and released to SpecFinish two weeks after publication.

Len provides an initial free one hour consultation to FIS members to discuss and review specific issues and to help develop a strategy to address. Should further advice and support be necessary, thereafter then Len will agree the necessary fee levels with each FIS member.

You can find out more about FIS membership here.