Comparison of the effects of litigation and ADR in South-East Queensland

Anika Gill, Jason Gray, Martin Skitmore*, Stephen Callaghan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
60 Downloads (Pure)


Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods, such as arbitration, are often used instead of litigation to resolve construction disputes, as industry folklore considers litigation overly expensive and time-consuming. But is this actually the case? Do the people most involved in construction dispute resolution agree? What are the real advantages and disadvantages of using litigation or ADR? When, if ever, is litigation the most appropriate way of resolving construction disputes? To answer these questions, this paper first provides a review of the literature on the use of litigation and ADR for construction dispute resolution. This is followed by the results of a survey of construction and legal personnel with moderate to extensive experience of dispute resolution in the Australian South-East Queensland construction industry. The main results of this are that, in addition to litigation being more expensive in money and time than ADR methods, the nature of the existing relationship between the parties has an important effect on the resolution process, what happens after an unsuccessful ADR and, if adversarial, is more likely to lead to litigation. The results are then validated and verified by one of the most experienced practitioners in claims and disputes in the whole of Australia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-263
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Construction Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2015
Externally publishedYes


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