The United States is litigious, or so it is said. The rest of the world is not, or so it is also said. In the world of construction, is it true that the United States is more litigious than the rest of the world? Or has there been an uptick in construction disputes internationally? In an industry where a significant number of disputes are resolved by arbitration, comprehensive data is hard to come by. But based on available information and anecdotal input, the evidence suggests that there has been an increase in construction-related disputes internationally, not just the United States.
In this article, we examine current trends in construction disputes globally. In Part II, we review the evidence of the perceived increase in such disputes and the apparent leading causes of those disputes. We then consider in Part III the ways in which parties to engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contracts may work to avoid disputes when drafting and negotiating their agreements, and when performing the project.