2nd Dispute Boards MENA Seminar: Mock DAB Hearing a Success

Dispute Boards MENA held its second seminar in Dubai on 13th April. The focus of this seminar was to illustrate how a Dispute Adjudication Hearing works. We created a case study which provided the basis for the claim and asked our listed practitioners and industry peers to take on the roles of the Contractor, the Engineer and the Dispute Adjudication Board (DAB). Both the Contractor and the Engineer presented their cases to the DAB and upon reviewing the case, the DAB gave his decision. So here’s what happened…

The Case Study

The case study involved a situation under a FIDIC Red Book form of contract, in which the tender and subsequently, the contract documents included a geotechnical survey, which recorded that that no ground water was encountered up to 40m deep. After the award of the Contract, the Contractor carried out his own geotechnical investigation in order to design the piles and found that ground water was actually present at less than 7m deep. The Contractor was required to excavate to 10m deep for bridge abutments and was consequently obliged to provide dewatering facilities for these excavations. The Contractor submitted a claim for additional payment for providing the dewatering.


Andy Hewitt, Principal at Hewitt Construction Consultancy and founder of Claims Class, presenting the case for the Contractor.


The Engineer considered that the geotechnical investigation included in the Contract was included for information only and it was incumbent on the Contractor to verify the accuracy of the information and to include for any risks associated with sub-surface conditions within his rates and prices. The Engineer also took into account that the Contractor did not submit any notices of adverse ground conditions, or of his intention to claim. The Engineer consequently, rejected the claim.


Steve Beaumont, Executive Director at Quantum Global Solutions, presenting the case for the Engineer.


The Contractor did not agree with the Engineer’s position and referred the matter to the DAB for a decision.

At this point we took a poll. 12 of the audience members were for the Engineer and 10 were for the Contractor. 6 were undecided. 


The poll.

The Decision

The DAB examined the claim and the determination and conducted a hearing in which various questions were asked to both parties. Having duly considered the dispute, the DAB issued the following decision:

  • The information included in the tender and the contract was deficient;
  • The Contract places the risk of dealing with groundwater with the Contractor;
  • The Contractor failed to provide the required notices, which is a condition precedent to entitlement;
  • The DAB concluded that the Contractor is not entitled to any additional payment for this matter.

Gordon Ross Clark, MD at Gordon Ross Clark Ltd., presenting the DAB decision.


The evening generated some great debate and we received some excellent feedback from attendees:

“I was very pleasantly surprised at the DB MENA event primarily due to the interesting mock Dispute Board hearing. It was great fun and the industry experience in the room was vast and exciting ­ I will be returning.”

Craig Mcpheator, Senior Claims Consultant at PMKConsult

“Having worked in the construction industry for 15+ years, I have seen many disputes left unaddressed by the Engineer or out rightly rejected without valid reason. The mock DAB session held by DB MENA was an eye opener in many ways and gave me an opportunity to hear both sides of the claim. I thought it was great that the Contractor was getting defensive and taking the Engineer’s comments personally, which often happens in real life! Like all contract professionals, I sided with the Contractor initially but on hearing the DAB’s decision I was swayed to side with the Engineer and agree that the Contractor’s claim should have been rejected.”

– Sai Prasad, Senior Commercial Manager

 Missed it? Don’t worry.

Download the presentation.

Download DAB Decision

For more information on how you could get listed with DB MENA, email hello@disputeboardsmena.com