DRB scores success in Dublin
DISCUSSION FORUM DRB scores success in Dublin Aug 2010
Last week, news was reported that claims associated with the Dublin Port Tunnel project in Ireland had been settled. The settlement is a success of the Disputes Review or Resolution Board (DRB) concept. It was the three-member DRB that had made regular visits to the project during the construction period, heard all the points of the disagreements, studied all the presented evidence and documentation, and presented a set of recommendations that were accepted by both parties to the dispute and reach resolution without recourse to expense litigation or lengthy arbitration.
The make-up of the Dublin Port Tunnel DRB is not known, and while knowing the individuals of the successful three-member panel would be interesting, their professions is perhaps a better focus for debate.
Recent conversation with a regular member of international DRBs and an early participant in the USA on DRB panels with Al Mathews, the influential instigator of the concept, suggested that panels in Europe were tending towards including lawyers more frequently on DRBs. This he said was contrary to the original spirit of the process whereby experienced engineers and construction professionals work towards finding resolution of disputes between other engineers and construction professionals without recourse to lawyers and court cases.
There are many other points that continue to form the focus of debate about the appointment and function of DRB panels, particularly on complex underground and tunnel construction projects. Some of these points include:
• How should members of DRBs be selected?
• Should past employees of either party be allowed on a project's DRB?
• Should lawyers/attorneys be members of DRBs?
• To what degree should DRB members be indemnified?
• Should dissenting opinions be included in the final report?
• When should a DRB hear a recommendation appeal?
• Under what circumstances and how should a DRB be terminated?
• When should a DRB recommendation be part of a subsequent court case or arbitation?
Enter 'DRB' on our Archive search bar to know which other projects have appointed DRBs and their experience and read other articles published on TunnelTalk on the topic to join the debate.
Dublin Port Tunnel settles claims disputes - TunnelTalk, Aug 2010
DRBs in North America - knowing and playing by the rules - TunnelTalk, Aug 2008
Enhancing the success of DRBs - TunnelTalk, Oct 2008

Dublin Port Tunnel's successful DRB August 2010

We have learned that the Dublin Port Tunnel Project DRB comprised Peter Chapman, Chair (UK), Brian Eggleston (UK), and Dr Terry Mellors (UK).

Chapman is an engineer,as well as a qualified UK Solicitor, and a past President of the DRB Foundation (2004-2006). He is a well-respected member on dispute resolution, mediation and arbitration panels.

Eggleston is an engineer and now heavily involved in dispute resolution through mediation and arbitration. He is regarded as the expert on application of NEC3 Contracts and has written several books on the matter.

Mellors has a degree in civil engineering, an MSc in Engineering Geology and a PhD in Engineering Geology, all from Imperial College London. He is a past Chairman of the British Tunnelling Society (BTS) (1999-2001) and was Joint-Chairman of the Working Group that produced The Joint Code of Practice for Risk Management of Tunnel Works in the UK, prepared jointly by the BTS and the Association of British Insurers, as well as a primary author of the international version.

Feedback on the topic from several commentators reveals that most agree that DRBs need an engineering pragmatism to succeed and that DRBs in both Europe and in the United States are tending towards appointing more lawyers. This is agreed as a concern. Another concern expressed is that members on DRBs in the USA are becoming partisan, adopting a position of protecting the Party that has appointed them. This is contrary to the understanding that appointees should be independent and strictly non-partisan.

The debate continues.

DRB scores success in Dublin - TunnelTalk, Aug 2010
Advocating for more DRBs in Canada - TunnelTalk, Aug 2010
Dublin Port Tunnel settles claims disputes - TunnelTalk, Aug 2010
DRBs in North America - knowing and playing by the rules - TunnelTalk, Aug 2008
Enhancing the success of DRBs - TunnelTalk, Oct 2008

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