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FIDIC Contracts, Dispute Resolution in the Middle East ...
The third “FIDIC Contracts, Dispute Resolution in the Middle East and International Arbitration” annual seminar was held in Muscat on Sunday 13 May 2018 which was organized by White and Case in co-operation with the Ministry of Transport and Communications.
 
 
With 130 participants from Government Companies and Institutions, the seminar shed light on the latest developments in the FIDIC forms of contract, utilizing independent expert witnesses to resolve constructions disputes, key issues to consider when selecting Dispute Adjudications Boards/Arbitral Tribunals, challenging arbitral awards in the Sultanate of Oman, investment arbitration and construction contracts, claims management, assessing delay, disruption and prolongation on a construction project and arbitration trends in the Middle East.
 
 
Ellis Baker, a senior partner of White and Case and lead author of “FIDIC Contracts: Law and Practice” one of the authoritative textbooks on FIDIC Contracts, highlighted some of the key changes contained in the newly released FIDIC contracts. Julian Bailey, a partner of White and Case and the author of “Construction Law”, one of the leading books on construction law shed light on the critical role of an independent expert in resolving construction disputes. Julian was the former Chairman of the Society of Construction Law in the UK and an Adjunct Professor of Law at Hamad bin Khalifa University in Doha.
 
 
Cameron Cuffe and Sarah Kelly, both senior associates of White and Case shared with the participants the key issues to consider when selecting DAB members and Arbitral Tribunals including what characteristics and attributes should one look for giving due regard to the underlying construction dispute. Mohammed Al Balushi, a partner of White and Case, illustrated the circumstances when an arbitral award can be challenged in the Sultanate of Oman in accordance with the Omani Law of Arbitration in Civil and Commercial Disputes. He also shared with the participants the stance of the Omani Judiciary in this regard.  
 
 
Verena Gross, a senior associate of White and Case, explored the circumstances where a construction dispute can give rise to a claim under an investment treaty and where a foreign investor is entitled to bring a claim. Oman has signed over 30 bilateral investment treaties with different states.
 
 
Luka Kristovic Blazevic, counsel at White and Case focused on assessing delay, disruption and prolongation on a construction project and how contracts influence the assessment of these types of common claims.
 
 
There were two panel discussions during the seminar. Michael Turrini, a partner of White and Case, chaired the first panel session that focused on the area of “claims management” and how best to undertake this exercise in the Middle East. The second panel discussion, led by Ellis Baker, shed light on the latest arbitrations trends in the Middle East including institutional arbitration. The panel also considered the long history of arbitration in Oman and whether or not Oman is in need of an arbitration institution/center.