Big opportunities for knowledge sharing at FIDIC global conferences

FIDIC's international conferences are crucial in sharing knowledge and learning on business issues.

FIDIC board member and contracts specialist AISHA NADAR highlights the importance of the federation’s international conferences which help to foster greater understanding of contractual and businesses issues.

FIDIC conferences held in conjunction with international partners around the world are a vital part of the organisation’s stakeholder relations activity. They bring together international experts from the construction and legal sector and provide valuable knowledge sharing and networking opportunities for attendees.

In September, FIDIC and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) held a joint conference in Tbilisi, Georgia. Situated at the crossroads between Europe and Asia, in the heart of the Caucasus and located near to the trade routes connecting the east and west, Tbilisi was an ideal location to bring together the different cultural and legal backgrounds that impact construction disputes under FIDIC contracts. 

The conference brought participants up to date with the latest contractual developments. In the past year FIDIC released the second edition of the Red Book, Yellow Book and Silver Book, the ICC published its new rules on arbitration and the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR approved the revised ICC Report on Construction Industry Arbitrations. So, there was much to discuss for delegates dealing with international construction contracts and the conference gave participants an ideal opportunity to gain an understanding of recent developments and to engage in discussions with experts delivering best practice advice on FIDIC contracts in relation to procedures for claims and dispute management, including ICC Arbitration.

Participants at the Tbilisi event were given a unique opportunity to hear directly from experts on FIDIC contracts, dispute boards and ICC arbitration procedures. They also gained a comprehensive understanding of the key features of FIDIC’s newly updated 2017 FIDIC suite of contracts and the new ICC publications.

Issues highlighted included:

- FIDIC’s multi-tiered approach to dispute management;
- The advantages of FIDIC contracts in regard to successful project execution and dispute management;
- Effective use of Dispute Avoidance and Adjudication Boards, illustrated by a Mock DAAB;
- A review of the lessons on how to expertly use the ICC Emergency Arbitration Provisions;
- Liability issues during the life of the project in construction disputes;
- Issues surrounding enforcement of DAB decisions and arbitral awards in the former Soviet Union.

The conference’s final session provided a very useful insight into potential changes in the contracting and dispute resolution landscape as influenced by the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and construction projects in CIS countries and the Caucasus region. 

As with all FIDIC conferences, there was a top line-up of dynamic and expert construction and dispute resolution professionals speaking, including Ziva Filipic, managing counsel of the ICC Court; Alina Leoveanu, manager, ICC International Centre for ADR; Aisha Nadar, FIDIC board member and chair of the procurement policy sub-committee and Christopher Seppälä, a partner of counsel at White & Case and FIDIC’s representative on the ICC Court.

FIDIC conferences and workshops like the one held in Tbilisi are well worth attending for all professionals involved in the international construction contracts sector. Recent events have included the FIDIC Asia Pacific Users’ Conference in Singapore in July, a FIDIC Americas Users’ Conference in Panama in September and last month’s FIDIC Africa Users’ Conference in Johannesburg.

Delegates at FIDIC events normally take advantage of the many networking opportunities available, through connecting with other participants before or during the event, engaging in the interactive panel sessions or exchanging experiences with industry peers during the various social events. All those who attended the recent events benefited from the discussions and knowledge shared and are now part of a valuable professional network as a result of their attendance at these conferences.

Of particular interest on 4-5 December 2018 is FIDIC’s flagship International Users’ Conference in London. With over 20 events organised across the globe over the next three months there is sure to be one of interest.

Click here for full details of all forthcoming events and to book a place.