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Wicklow Consultants Win ‘Excellence In Business’ Public Sector Award

John-O'Brien

A Delgany-based firm of alternative dispute resolution consultants has been given the highest accolade for its services  by Public Sector magazine. 

John Farage O’Brien has been presented with the 2017 Legal Dispute Resolution Award by Public Sector magazine in its annual Excellence in Business Awards. The prestigious award comes in recognition of the firm’s work in advising and representing those involved in construction disputes, many involving the public sector, and its founder’s role as a mediator, conciliator and arbitrator in successfully resolving disputes which often involve tens or even hundreds of millions of euro in contract value. 

The firm was founded by well-known Greystones resident John FFF O’Brien in 2003. It specialises in resolving disputes in the construction sector, representing clients at all forms of alternative dispute resolution. O’Brien himself is also a fully qualified and accredited mediator and arbitrator, where he serves as the ‘referee’ in disputes over the terms of construction contracts and brings to the role a lifetime of experience in the construction sector and 15 years of work resolving disputes.

John Farage O’Brien also provides support services to legal teams which represent clients in open court or private arbitration tribunals, where their efforts at mediation or conciliation have broken down.

Principal consultant John O’Brien said: “Winning this award is great news for our team. Really, they deserve the  recognition for the work they do — and for the contribution it makes to business involving the public sector. The public sector is a huge employer of construction firms, civil engineering companies, surveyors and many other construction professionals, operating many contracts, and when disagreements turn into disputes we are always on hand to help resolve them.

“We have been involved in cases worth over €2.5 billion in contract value since 2003, with amounts in dispute running from a few hundred thousand up to tens of millions. The vast bulk of these are resolved without resorting to adversarial and public litigation in court, saving huge sums in legal fees, huge stress for the parties involved, and huge amounts of public money.

“I have a team of five who richly deserve this public accolade. Between us, we marshall all of the very wide range of skills that are needed in this complex area. We have helped resolve innumerable disputes, and I am very pleased that my team and I have had that contribution recognised by being chosen for this prestigious award.”

Alternative dispute resolution includes methods of resolving disputes that do not involve court action, which can be difficult and costly. Instead, processes such as arbitration, adjudication, conciliation, and mediation are used to resolve conflicts, once the parties in dispute agree to use them.

The team at John Farage O’Brien includes two chartered quantity surveyors, a senior contracts consultant who is a barrister and expert in arbitration law, and a senior consultant who is one of only a handful of Chartered Arbitrators in Ireland — as well as O’Brien himself, who brings wide knowledge and ferocious forensic abilities to his practice, and combines these with the ability to take the long view as an analytical strategist in this complex area.

He has long experience as a project manager on major civil engineering, railway infrastructure and building projects in Ireland and Britain and has honed his skills in the the dispute resolution arena since 2003, with extensive experience as a dispute manager, an advocate, a conciliator and as a practising arbitrator and mediator.

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