Dispute Resolved by Mutual Consent

Steve was appointed by The Electrical and Communications Association, to adjudicate a payment claim dispute between a Contractor and his Subcontractor on a major infrastructure project. Steve had jurisdiction, under the Construction Contracts Act (WA) 2004 (as amended in 2016), to determine the matter for the parties. However, it was resolved, and Steve made a Determination, in accordance with terms that were mutually agreed by the parties.

Consensual resolution preserves commercial relations

It’s our firm belief, and our policy, at Lieblich & Associates, that parties should resolve their differences by mutual consent, if possible. We successfully encourage and facilitate such mutual resolution of a large proportion of disputes referred to us, even when the reference provides authority and jurisdiction, by statute or by prior contractual agreement, that Steve determine the matter as an arbitrator or an adjudicator.

Successfully encouraging the parties to arrive at a consensual resolution, saves time and cost, and most importantly, it increases the prospect that the parties may preserve their commercial relations and continue to trade.


Domain Name Dispute Determined

Steve was appointed to determine a dispute between a party that had registered a xxx.au Domain Name and another party that claimed predominant rights to that particular Domain Name.

The process is a rapid adjudication, in accordance with a dispute resolution process (auDRP) prescribed in the terms of the license to use that Domain Name. The purpose of the auDRP is to provide a less expensive, faster alternative to litigation for the resolution of disputes between the registrant of a .au domain name and a party with competing rights to the domain name.

Steve was one of a panel of three adjudicators, which determined the matter within a few weeks.

China’s Renewed Drive to Tame Its Debt Pile Starts to Bite

From Bloomberg, 5 May 2017:

Signs are emerging that the Chinese government’s renewed drive to curb financial leverage is starting to bite.

The number of wealth-management products (WMPs) issued by Chinese banks slumped 39 percent in April from the previous month, while trust firms distributed 35 percent fewer products, according to data compilers PY Standard and Use Trust….

…The recent regulatory moves erased more than $300 billion of stock-market value and sent bond yields to the highest level in nearly two years as investors speculated the crackdown will curtail the amount of funds available for investment in financial markets.

It’s a valid concern: Chinese banks sold 5,989 wealth-management products last month, down from March’s 9,829, which was the highest since at least December 2015, according to PY Standard, a Chengdu-based financial data provider….

Retail Tenancy Mediation

In April 2017, Steve mediated a long-running dispute in a retail tenancy matter in a suburban shopping centre.

Negotiations between the Landlord and Tenant, to agree a new lease, had been protracted (some 18 months) and no agreement achieved. The tenant continued to trade under a periodic tenancy for a total of about 30 months before receiving notice from the Landlord to terminate the tenancy. The Tenant disputed the notice in litigation, which was pending at the time of the mediation.

The dispute was complicated by a third-party licensor who affected the retail trader’s business and that of other tenants in the same shopping centre.

In an extended one-day mediation conference, Steve facilitated the parties’ achieving agreement to a new lease for many years, subject to the approval of the third-party licensor, which is highly-likely to be given, thus settling this long-running dispute and enabling all parties to continue to trade.

Payment Claim Adjudications

In the first quarter of the 2017 calendar year, Steve was appointed by to adjudicate payment-claim disputes, each for amounts under $100k.

In two of the matters, Steve successfully encouraged the parties to settle the matter by mutual consent and the Applicant was able to withdraw the application (in accordance with the recently-amended Construction COntracts Act), thus reducing the costs and minimising the impact on the commercial relations between the parties.

Steve determined the other three matters in accordance with the Act.

Family Agribusiness Dispute Resolved

Steve recently successfully facilitated the resolution of a family agribusiness dispute by mediation.

The business is substantial, including many thousands of hectares of land, substantial stock holdings, and production of multiple crops. The dispute involved siblings and also crossed generations of the family. It involved issues of estate planning, succession and orderly separation of assets amongst the next generation.

The dispute had been extended over recent years. Communication between family members had been reduced to written exchanges via legal representatives of each party. A substantial financier of the business was threatening to foreclose on some mortgages.

The mediation outcome was a written, commercially-enforceable heads of agreement acceptable to all parties, which outlines other legal instruments and deeds that will be drafted by the parties to give effect to the heads of agreement.

As a result of this successful outcome, the farming assets, which were acquired over several generations in more than a century, will remain in the hands of the family, which is expected to successfully trade out of its debts in the long term.