A major Western Australian Government Agency and one of its long-standing building services providers approached us in November 2006, to assist with resolution of a dispute about a maintenance contract.

The parties agreed that Steve Lieblich shall determine the matter as arbitrator, in accordance with the Rules of the Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators Australia.

We directed the parties to provide points of claim, defence and counterclaim, reply and defence to counterclaim, and rejoinder. After analysis of these interlocutory submissions, Steve the directed the parties to provide specific information in further submissions.

After receipt of these further submissions and detailed analysis of the matters at issue, Steve presented his thoughts (but no determination or award) to the parties, and suggested a number of alternative procedures to resolve the matter.

With the benefit of having completed some interlocutory proceedings and having heard Steve’s analysis, the parties elected to attempt to resolve the matters by direct negotiation, and in the event that this was not successful within an agreed brief period, also authosied Steve to adopt an expedited determinative arbitral procedure that minimised the costs of completing the arbitration.

The parties agreed to resolve the matter by consent. Steve assisted them to document that agreement. The resolution thus preserved the commercial realtionship between the parties, facilitating a mutually beneficial continuation of their contract, and also minimised the costs of resolution.