DB MENA Hosts Seminar to Discuss Added Value that Dispute Boards Can Bring to Construction Projects in the MENA Region

Dispute Boards MENA held its first seminar on 2 March and, between a presentation and a panel discussion, discussed the added value that Dispute Boards could bring to construction projects across the MENA region.

John Wright and Andy Hewitt gave a talk which explained the purpose of dispute boards, how they are constituted and how they help to avoid disputes as well as settle them in a timely manner. Common misconceptions such as cost, enforceability and impartiality of boards were also discussed.

John Wright - Presenting

John Wright, Partner at Goodman Derrick LLP, delivering part of the presentation.


Andy Hewitt, Principal at Hewitt Construction Consultancy, delivering his section of the presentation.

The panel was comprised of Sam Barakat (Director, Rider Levett Bucknall), Malcolm Kelly (Consulting Engineer and DB Practitioner), Richard Chamberlain (Director, Turner & Townsend) and Colin Pickering* (Managing Director, Murray & Roberts Middle East) and they  discussed such topics as why DBs are seldom used in the MENA region, the practical advantages of standing boards over ad-hoc boards, how DAB’s can help and encourage engineers to deal with matters in a timely manner and enforceability of DAB decisions in the UAE.

*Colin Pickering had an emergency client meeting and had to bow out of the seminar at the last minute. This was a shame but our presenter, John Wright, kindly offered to step in for him. 


Panelists poised and ready to share their views.

Whilst the turn out could have been stronger, I think it was certainly a case of quality over quantity and we had some senior representatives from some of the larger UAE companies too which was encouraging. We hope that as DB MENA becomes more well known, the interest in and attendance at our activities will naturally increase.

As for future seminars, we already have an idea for the next one, which will probably be a mock DAB session. Whilst we don’t have details of when this will be yet, please do let us know if you would be interested in attending this session.