Arbitration in case of conflict during construction work

Avoid resorting to the courts in case of a conflict.

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More and more, commercial contracts contain arbitration clauses. These clauses allow parties to avoid going to court in case of a conflict between the contractor, subcontractors, and the property owner.

Arbitration takes the form of a private tribunal where the case is heard by one or more arbitrators chosen by the parties.

To initiate the process, the parties must submit an arbitration request to the arbitrator. Upon receiving this request, the arbitrator prepares an Arbitration Agreement that must be signed by all parties.

The arbitrator then sets the procedure's course. The parties are free to be represented by a lawyer and present their own expert witnesses. Once the proceedings are complete, the arbitrator issues a written decision that is legally binding. This decision can be enforced by a court in case of non-compliance.

For more information, please refer to the arbitration rules of the Association of Quebec Arbitration Notaries. Members of the Association are subject to ethical rules.

While it is not possible to provide an exhaustive list of all the situations where an arbitrator may intervene, here are some examples:

  • The contractor abandons or refuses to complete the work;
  • The contractor fails to comply with one or more conditions of a contract;
  • The owner refuses to accept additional charges requested by the contractor;
  • The contractor fails to remedy construction defects or hidden defects.

Why allow a dispute to escalate and become burdened with legal proceedings? Arbitration, more than just a means, is a more civilized solution to a dispute. Arbitration is a dynamic solution that meets the economic imperatives of the contemporary world, where disputes must be resolved quickly while minimizing costs.

The major advantages of arbitration are confidentiality, speed, and cost limitation:

  • Confidentiality: It is a form of private justice, as opposed to the public court system.
  • Speed: The arbitrator responsible for a dispute must deliver their decision within a short period as requested by the parties. This decision is enforceable and not subject to appeal. In practical terms, a timeframe of six (6) months can be expected.
  • Cost limitation: As the decision is final and not subject to appeal, costs are consequently reduced.

Parties looking for an even more flexible form of conflict resolution might be better advised to turn to mediation.

Due to their training and experience, notaries are particularly suited to maintain impartiality between parties in a contract. They have a duty to provide advice to ensure that parties' decisions and consent are adequately informed. A notary is the appropriate professional to act as an arbitrator in a dispute.

We invite you to submit your arbitration request to Notaire-Direct®, who can meet your needs.

If you need more information on this service, please contact us
514 374-4303
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