REUTERS | Ivan Alvarado

Say hello to the twenties, wave goodbye to the twenty tens

Or should that be waving goodbye to the “one-ders”, the “tweenies”, the “tensies” or simply the “tens”?

I wasn’t sure what you are supposed to call the last decade and an internet search didn’t prove much help either, with various options coming up.

Perhaps you have a favourite way to refer to the last decade. I couldn’t decide which one I preferred, although I did think there was something rather charming about the Australian idea of “one-der”, mixing up the words “wonder” and the number one, which was part of every year. It begs the question of what you’d call the wonders of the last ten years, but that is another blog entirely. Today I’m looking at those things I’d like to see in 2020 (and beyond).

What should 2020 bring?

As this is the third decade in which I’ve blogged for Practical Law Construction (how old does that make me sound??), I looked back to see what I’d wished for previously. At the start of the last decade (in January 2010) I was more interested in the slip rule than thinking about the future, although I had written my first looking forward piece the previous year, and then wrote another the following year. Back then, it was really all about the forthcoming changes to the Construction Act 1996, now it is less clear what the major event in construction law is likely to be (excluding the obvious elephant in the room).

However, there is a consistency in what I’ve wished for (and am still wishing for). Some may feel reading this is a bit like watching a scene from Groundhog Day… but here goes:

  • The expanded export of adjudication abroad, possibly to the US, Middle East and Germany.
  • The adoption of case-specific appropriate methods of dispute resolution, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. This could give us conjoined or adapted use of expert determination, adjudication, mediation, ENE and TCC litigation or arbitration to suit.
  • Formal pupillage requirement as a pre-requisite for ANB panel membership. I may keep mentioning this, but the ANB’s need to take the lead on this. It will improve quality and address the chicken and egg conundrum I’ve discussed before.
  • An adjudication decision to be enforced in Ireland (which we are still waiting for).
  • The introduction of a workable retention scheme that includes an associated dispute resolution scheme.
  • The expansion of adjudication and/or fast track arbitration  to other industries like the Pubs Code adjudicator/arbitration scheme.
  • Seeing more dispute resolution boards (DRBs) on large scale UK projects, perhaps with the government taking the lead.
  • A cup final for West Ham (I don’t mind if it is the men or women’s team (or both!)).

And finally

One item has always been a constant on my lists: West Ham to remain in the Premiership. Some years this has looked more likely than others but only time will tell if we are to remain on the cusp of playing Championship football in our “fancy, shiny new stadium”.

One thought on “Say hello to the twenties, wave goodbye to the twenty tens

  1. Matt, fully agree with the limits of ‘once size fits all’ where the interim may be more choice. Time lag in Ireland for an adjudication enforcement in Ireland is undoubtedly influenced by the continued presence and success of Conciliation, being perceived as being less confrontational with a greater chance of preserving any relationship. Other approaches such as Med-Rec starting to gain traction, so more choice to begin with. All the best for 2020.

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