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The Complexities of Multi-Party Negotiations in the Construction Industry

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When three or more parties are required for successful negotiations to proceed, a multi-part negotiation can be utilized to help reach a mutually agreeable resolution. Unfortunately, the dynamics of multi-party negotiations are significantly more complex than traditional two-party negotiations.

During multi-party negotiations, verdicts can’t be reached by simply figuring out which party has the best case. This is because accounting for the needs of additional parties increases the complexity of negotiations and the number of potential outcomes. In other words, you always have more control when using alternatives to litigation, such as mediation and arbitration, to engage in negotiations with one other party. If you are forced to take part in multi-party negotiations, our Birmingham construction lawyers can represent you, but be warned: the sheer complexity of multi-party negotiations can hinder your ability to meet deadlines.

More Negotiators, More Problems

Two-party negotiations are relatively simple, and the give and take necessary for a successful resolution can be weighed somewhat easily. When two parties are locked in negotiations, the dispute can often be resolved by having each party make one concession of equal value. Simple enough, right?

Unfortunately, as soon as you introduce a third party, this entire process is flipped on its head. You will have to consider additional opinions, perspectives, and issues. More information leads to longer negotiations, and even in a controlled environment where all three parties are representing their own interests exclusively, it could still take a long time to reach an amicable solution.

Teaming Up in Multi-Party Negotiations

Another drawback of multi-party negotiations is the formation of alliances that upset the balance of logical discourse. Basically, if two parties decide that teaming up can help them both achieve their goals, they may do so at the expense of the other parties involved in negotiations. For instance, if a poorly written contract leads to three subcontractors disputing scope of work, but two of those subcontractors have a relationship off the project site, they may engage in collusion against the other subcontractor in an attempt to bolster their bottom line. Before negotiations begin, our Birmingham construction lawyers can draft a proposal to ban unfair collusion and ensure that negotiations are fair.

In multi-party negotiations, nobody is at a clear advantage. That is why you should always approach these arrangements with caution and the help of a Birmingham construction lawyer. We can advise you on whether or not engaging in multi-party negotiations will benefit your cause. Similarly, we can represent you in other forms of dispute resolution, including arbitration, mediation, and litigation.

If you would like to speak with a Birmingham construction lawyer, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.