Arbitration & DRBs

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   Bass Consulting, Inc. is committed to the promotion of Partnering. Partnering is not a method of dispute resolution, but a method of dispute avoidance. Partnering agreements are not legally binding, the value of partnering depends entirely on the will of the partners to make it work. Partnering encourages by agreement escalation of a dispute to the next level of management, and all the way to the top if necessary. It is agreed in advance by the parties involved that inaction is not an option and a decision must be made. It is the opinion of Bass Consulting, Inc. that Partnering has a much greater opportunity for success if it is supported by a Disputes Review Board (DRB). The DRB is brought into play when the normal Owner/Contractor disputes resolution or partnering agreement is unsuccessful, and prior to a formal adoption of a position or filing of litigation by either party. William Bass is actively involved in the disputes review process participating in over 34 DRBs. The combined contract value of these projects totals in excess of $540 million. 

Disputes Review Boards have proven to be very effective in eliminating formal claim litigation. In Bass' experience there have not been any formal claims litigation on projects involving DRB's where Bass personnel have been participants. The panels are, in most cases, advisory only. However, for some public agencies, DRB's are binding. Projects that have involved advisory DRB's have not only eliminated formal claims, but have caused the Owner and Contractor to formally and informally partner to avoid calling on the Board for a decision. Bass Consulting, Inc. also has found DRB's are the stronghold that keep Partnering alive by their availability for a hearing, which is generally a less desirable solution to the parties involved than the more informal process of Partnering, as it has been Bass Consulting, Inc. experience that the Owner and Contractor would prefer to work their problems out in the field, rather than call up the DRB.

Bass Consulting, Inc. personnel have been very active in the American Arbitration Association as members of the Arbitration Advisory Council for the State of Washington, and as individual panelists since 1981. Our personnel have acted as individual arbitrators and chairman on these individual panels for the American Association of Arbitration with over one thousand (1,700) hearing hours accumulated in cases related to heavy and light construction projects, where disputed amounts ranged from $100,000 to $8 million per hearing.












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9805 N.E. 116th St., Ste. A-204
Kirkland, WA 98034-4245
206.601.1894 / Fax 425.823.4907
www.BassConsultingInc.com / bass@basscoinc.com