The Conflict Avoidance Process – Martin Burns, Paul Cacchioli and Len Bunton


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RICS has created a LinkedIn Group which focuses on bringing together like-minded professionals who recognise the benefits of working collaboratively to avoid conflict and manage disputes at an early stage.

This group was established by a pan-industry coalition of leading construction organisations – the Conflict Avoidance Coalition – whose ambition is to reduce the financial and other costs of disputes within the industry to try and help deliver infrastructure and property development projects on time and on budget. One of the steps taken by the coalition to achieve this aim is to encourage organisations across the supply chain to sign the Conflict Avoidance Pledge to signify commitment to the principles of working collaboratively to avoid and manage disputes efficiently and effectively. You are invited to join the group and participate in discussions.

Intervention and Resolution – How Can The Conflict Avoidance Process Help

This month’s webinar was a discussion about a ground-breaking campaign by industry bodies to reduce the immense financial, social and reputational costs of disputes, and how it is gathering momentum across the global construction sector.

The webinar began with Paul Cacchioli ‘painting the picture’ of the current state of disputes in the construction industry, with reference to the HKA’s integrated research programme and the CRUX report.

Martin Burns and Len Bunton then shared how the Conflict Avoidance Coalition was formed and the aims of the Conflict Avoidance Pledge.

The session ended with a review of the tools used by the Coalition and the importance of  implementing the Conflict Avoidance Process into business culture and supply chains.


Martin Burns – Head of ADR Research and Development, Royal Institution of Charted Surveyors

Martin has over 30 years’ experience working for RICS in the specialist field of dispute resolution is currently Head of ADR Research and Development at RICS.  He regularly works with governments and industry leaders to develop and implement practical and cost-effective ways for people and businesses to avoid, manage and resolve disputes concerning land, property and construction.

He currently represents RICS on the pan-industry Conflict Avoidance Coalition, which developed the Conflict Avoidance Pledge. Membership of the Coalition also includes senior directors drawn from the ICE, RIBA, ICES, DRBF, International Chambers of Commerce and industry bodies, such as Transport for London, Network Rail and the Urban Growth Company.

He is a trained mediator and a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He holds a BA Honours Degree in Politics & History and an L.LB Honours Degree in Law and in 2005, he was called as a Barrister by the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn.

He regularly tutors on RICS Diploma training courses in arbitration and adjudication and has been involved in developing training and accreditation courses such as the RICS online Foundation course in ADR (FADR), the President’s Adjudication Panel Competency Programme and the RICS Expert Witness Accreditation Training.

Paul Cacchioli – Director, HKA

Paul Cacchioli is a chartered quantity surveyor with more than 30 years’ experience of major construction, rail and infrastructure projects, with particular expertise in mechanical and electrical “M&E” engineering services across various sectors.

He is involved in the preparation, analysis and submission of quantum expert witness reports and in the preparation and defence of contractual claims. He has significant sector experience in rail and infrastructure, buildings, industrial, healthcare, power and utilities.

Paul has strong commercial and contractual knowledge having worked with a range of standard forms of contract as well as various bespoke forms of contract. He has experience of dispute resolution including arbitration hearings, pleadings for arbitration (domestic and international), referral notices and responses for adjudication process, statements of claim, counterclaim and defence submissions and resolution via negotiation.

Paul has been appointed on numerous occasions as quantum expert in construction and engineering disputes in the UK and overseas.  He also has significant experience of working with distressed and insolvent companies within the construction sector.

Len Bunton – Owner, Bunton Consulting

Len Bunton FRICS FCIArb Hon  FRIAS – has over 40 years’ experience as a cost consultant and, adjudicator, arbitrator, mediator, expert witness and conflict avoidance consultant. He has extensive experience on major projects.

Len is Vice Chair of the Conflict Avoidance Process Coalition and is absolutely committed to the Conflict Avoidance Process.

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