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International Construction Projects Require Cultural Considerations

One of the more difficult (and obvious) realities of the construction sector is that disputes tend to be complicated, slow-moving and expensive. This is especially true in large-scale international projects that might include complex contracting arrangements, multiple parties with differing nationalities and legal backgrounds, and multi-tiered dispute resolution mechanisms. Effective management of the dispute resolution process in these types of megaprojects is a difficult and expensive task, and it deserves careful consideration at the earliest stages of a project. This requires getting to the root of exactly what causes complexity in construction megaprojects. There are many causal factors for this complexity. All too often, a clash of cultures is a major cause.

In this article, V&E partner Scott Stiegler and senior associate Peter Danysh discuss the importance of anticipating key cultural differences in construction megaprojects, and analyzes certain ways in which those differences might manifest themselves at various stages of a project. A clear understanding of cultural differences between parties makes it possible to identify a project’s pressure points at an early stage, and to take steps to mitigate or even avoid disputes caused by a clash of cultures. This is crucial not only in contributing to the success of a project, but also to protect your own individual interests.

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This information is provided by Vinson & Elkins LLP for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended, nor should it be construed, as legal advice.