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RICS, IIAC Partner to Strengthen Dispute Resolution Services in Construction & Infra 

New Delhi, October 25, 2023 – The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), has joined forces with the India International Arbitration Centre (IIAC), to enhance Dispute Resolution Services in India.

The MoU signing ceremony between RICS and IIAC took place at the IIAC at New Delhi. Eminent legal dignitaries, distinguished industry leaders, Members of the IIAC, Members of the Chamber of Arbitration of IIAC, and representatives from both organizations were present to witness this historical collaboration, mentions a press release issued by RICS.

Under the MOU, RICS and IIAC will collaborate closely to leverage RICS’s extensive 150 years of experience and international renown in administering dispute resolution, particularly in the built environment sector, along with IIAC’s status as a vital institution responsible for providing efficient arbitration and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services in India.

One of the primary objectives of this partnership is to explore and develop training programs and continued professional development opportunities for arbitrators involved in IIAC construction and infrastructure arbitration. This initiative aims to ensure that arbitrators with legal backgrounds possess the necessary sector-specific technical knowledge, while those with technical expertise have a comprehensive understanding of the legal aspects related to the industry.

Additionally, the MOU between RICS and IIAC aims to explore the provision of joint training for mediation, further promoting the adoption of mediation as a viable mechanism for resolving disputes in the construction and infrastructure sectors.

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John Fletcher, Director of Dispute Resolution at RICS, expressed his enthusiasm about the collaboration, stating, “Arbitration was designed to be fundamentally different from private litigation. IIAC and RICS have responded to the call from the Indian government, judiciary, and construction industry to provide effective and sector-specific international and domestic arbitration services that are reasonably priced and not excessively legalistic. I am honoured to sign this Memorandum of Understanding, through which IIAC and RICS will support the Indian construction and infrastructure sector by conducting arbitrations led by industry experts, former justices of the Indian and Supreme and High Courts with construction expertise, and leading members of the RICS international construction arbitration panel.”

Ashwani Awasthi, Managing Director of South Asia, emphasized the need for a robust dispute resolution mechanism in a fast-growing market like India, stating, “In India, a country witnessing over 7 percent and substantial investments in real estate and infrastructure development, disputes are an inevitable consequence. Currently, we have approximately Rs 80,000 crore stuck in construction disputes in the courts. To restore faith in the system and attract continued investments, the country requires a faster mechanism for dispute resolution. I am delighted by our association with RICS and the signing of this MOU, which strengthens the Alternate Dispute Resolution Service in India. We eagerly look forward to contributing to the nation-building process.”

Justice Hemant Gupta, Chairperson, IIAC, “The two institutions in India and United Kingdom have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding on 17th October 2023 is not only historic but also a very important mile stone in the field of alternative dispute resolution process. The collaboration between India International Arbitration Centre (IIAC), an institution of national importance, and RICS having 150 years of history and international reputation in administering dispute resolution, especially arbitration, in the built environment sector, will help IIAC to ensure its credibility as a specialized institution in arbitration and mediation.

There is a need for continued professional development for all arbitrators acting in the specialized field of the construction and infrastructure sector. In this direction, collaboration with RICS will help IIAC to design tailor-made training programs for arbitrators to acquire sector-specific technical knowledge.

As per MOU, RICS will make its International Panel of Construction Arbitrators available to IIAC to be considered for inclusion in the IIAC panel of arbitrators who can thereafter be considered for appointment by the IIAC in construction and infrastructure cases referred to the IIAC. This is a significant step in the right direction to promote arbitration as a preferred mode of dispute resolution.

MOU with RICS is a historic step by IIAC in its quest to bring targeted reforms to develop itself as a flagship institution for conducting international and domestic arbitration.”

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