Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player


Conciliation is a confidential process that is similar to Mediation wherein the Parties appoint an independent and impartial third Party (The Conciliator) who seeks to facilitate a settlement between the Parties through the skilful identification of the strengths and weaknesses of the Parties respective positions. A good Conciliator will be professionally qualified person with a breadth and depth of experience and will have a proper understanding of the technical, contractual, commercial and legal issues at play in any dispute.  He or she will be an expert communicator and capable of exploring potential solutions to the dispute.  In Construction Conciliations it is usual to have plenary sessions wherein both Parties present their argument before the Conciliator and the other Party usually without interruption but this depends on the style adopted by the Conciliator who is master of the procedure.  In addition, the Conciliator will have private caucus meetings with each Party in separate rooms where he or she will test the Party’s argument in private and endeavour to lower tensions and expectations. If the difference between the Parties respective positions is not too great then a negotiated settlement may be achievable, which will become final and binding upon the Parties. If a settlement is not possible, then the proceedings will be adjourned and the Conciliator will retire to make his recommendation to the Parties.

The recommendation will be in a written format and if not dissented from by either Party within a specified period of time, normally 10 working days then the recommendation becomes final and binding.

Conciliation is widely employed In the Irish Construction Industry with all Standard Forms of Contract requiring the Parties to endeavour to resolve their differences through dialogue with the assistance of an Expert. 

Under the Public Works Forms of Contract, Conciliation adopts a two stage approach. The first stage  is identical to traditional Conciliation wherein the Conciliator explores ways of reaching a mutually acceptable agreement between the Parties. If this fails, then the Conciliator is obligated to issue a written recommendation based upon the rights and obligations of the Parties under the Contract. If this recommendation is not rejected within 45 calendar days then it becomes binding upon the Parties. This second stage is more akin to adjudication and differs from the Conciliation Procedures adopted by the Royal Institute of Architects Ireland and Engineer’s Ireland wherein the Conciliator may elect to recommend a sum of money that he or she considers is appropriate in all the circumstances and which the Parties can live with.

Brian M. O’Connor has very considerable expertise and experience working in the Construction Industry in Ireland and in particular in the ADR sector. This expertise has been acknowledged by both Clients and Construction Lawyers alike and in this regard Mr. O’Connor possesses numerous complimentary Client references for his work.

Mr. O’Connor has considerable expertise and experience working in Construction Conciliation in Ireland on Building & Civil Engineering Projects under the following:-

• RIAI procedure employed pursuant to Clause 38 (a) of the RIAI Agreement and Schedule of Building Contract.

• Engineer’s Ireland Procedure 2000 employed under Clause 66 of the IEI Conditions of Contract for Works of Civil Engineering Construction 3rd Edition 1980 (revised and re-printed October, 1990) and 4th Edition 1996 (second edition published 1998).

• Engineer’s Ireland Procedure 2007 for use in connection with the Department of Finance Public Works Contracts.

• Construction Industry Federation Procedure for use in connection with the CIF Specialist Form of Sub-Contract 1st Edition, 1999 pursuant to Clause 25 (s) and the CIF Form of Sub-Contract for use in connection with the RIAI Main Contract Form 5th Edition, October, 1989 (where amended to include Conciliation).

This expertise and experience is hugely beneficial and re-assuring to prospective Clients who will be engaging in Conciliation in an effort to resolve its dispute.  In addition, Mr. O’Connor has considerable expertise in legal writing and in drafting Conciliation Settlement Agreements.

Brian M. O’Connor has in depth experience of Construction Conciliation in Ireland and has been involved in several large and complex Building & Civil Engineering Conciliations since 2001, all of which have resulted in positive outcomes for Clients.

Mr. O’Connor has prepared detailed submissions for Conciliation and has also acted as an advocate in Conciliation. He has also drafted settlement agreements for the Parties in a number of Conciliations that have been approved by the Parties and Co-signed by the Conciliator.

Brian M. O’Connor has appointed by the Construction Industry Federation to act in the capacity of Conciliator.