An excellent discussion tonight on PFI disputes, hosted by IPFA, on the recent White-Fraiser report. The report provides a framework for change and thought provoking commentary on the successful delivery of PFI projects and ultimately the avoidance of formal disputes. It was clear that there will be some work to do to change mind-sets, approaches and to provide collaborative outcomes. With uncertainty over performance and with the fast approaching exit and expiry of many projects, disputes will inevitably still arise. The key, for all parties and their advisers, is to ensure that those disputes are professionally articulated and managed, and that project objectives and outcomes remain central.
The recently published White Fraiser report, commissioned by the IPA, looked at behaviours and disputes in operational PFI projects. The report made 13 recommendations to improve the current state of play. There is a real risk that people bury their heads in the sand and hope things improve – the report authors are clear that any such hope is misplaced. Action is required. The panel will discuss: - What should I do differently if I am a SPV Owner/public authority/senior lender? - How do you know if your mindset is as an industrial or financial owner? - Will dispute resolution be streamlined? - Can collaboration win out? Panel: - Moderator, Zoë Watters, Partner, PwC - Barry White, Managing Director, Stark Green Ltd (report author) - Andrew Fraiser, Solicitor (report author) - Alan Birch, CEO, Semperian - Shona Henderson, IPA