Paul has acted as lead advocate in a broad spectrum of complex and high value arbitrations, including numerous school and hospital development disputes in London, England and a lengthy International Chamber of Commerce hearing in Geneva, Switzerland, and more recently has acted as arbitrator in a number of construction disputes.
Paul has substantial experience in all levels of the construction pyramid, from material suppliers to owners, in residential, commercial, industrial and public projects, as well as in the commercial sector generally. Paul’s analytical skills and experience in dealing with highly technical and complex cases, coupled with his thoroughness and attention to detail, enable him to arbitrate in all manner of commercial cases including all aspects of construction, engineering, professional negligence and insurance disputes. While acting as arbitrator, Paul recognizes throughout that the parties are entrusting to him not only the fair resolution of a dispute, on legally correct principles and by just process, but also the responsibility of undertaking that task in a timely and cost efficient manner.
Please contact Paul using the contact page to discuss the nature of your dispute and proposed terms of reference to arbitration.
Paul acted as lead advocate in numerous adjudications arising out of construction projects in the UK from 1996 to 2013, following the introduction there in 1996 of the new fast track process of dispute resolution on which the new Ontario adjudication system is based.
Paul acted for both claimants and defendants, and for owners, contractors, sub-contractors and material suppliers, in adjudications of disputes ranging from small residential development claims for less than $50k, to complex retail, mall and other commercial project claims of over $100m. He has substantial experience of the wide range of directions that can be considered and invoked to ensure adjudications are efficient and proportionate, from a single round of written submissions, to demanding timetables for the exchange of witness statements and expert evidence, on-site inspections and oral hearings of up to a full day. Paul’s adjudications in the UK included:
- a series of adjudications in which he acted for the contractor during the course of its protracted litigation with the UK’s Football Association over the construction of the new Wembley Stadium in central London;
- acting for the Health Service owner in a number of complex hospital final account / variation disputes;
- acting for the contractor in a dispute over a fire during the construction of a major new London hotel, with numerous witness statements, and both engineering and fire expert reports, plus an on-site mock-up (re-enactment) of the angle grinding works which allegedly caused the fire, requiring the temporary closure of one of London’s busiest streets.
Upon the introduction of the adjudication process in Ontario in 2019, Paul attended the inaugural training session for adjudicators in September 2019, and was one of the first to qualify and be appointed as a certified adjudicator in the province in early November 2019. Paul has also been invited to present and has presented extensively on adjudication under Ontario’s Construction Act.
With the benefit of nearly 20 years’ experience of the very same process of construction adjudication now introduced in Ontario, Paul has very considerable first-hand knowledge of the demands and challenges of this fast track process, in a wide variety of construction projects. Paul is therefore well versed in what those involved in the construction industry want and need from the new process, and is well able to deliver it, namely a decision which is not only on time (i.e. within the tight statutory time limits) and on budget (i.e. without any unnecessary or disproportionate costs), but is also “on spec” – i.e. is a sound and well-reasoned decision, firmly based on good judgment, experience and expertise. Paul is also well aware of the potential traps, pitfalls and opportunities that the process presents, and of how these can and should be dealt with.
For details of how to appoint Paul Sutherland as adjudicator, see the website of the Ontario Dispute Adjudication for Construction Contracts (“ODACC”), and Paul Sutherland’s ODACC Profile.