The Attorney General of Ontario, Doug Downey, recently designated ADR Chambers as the Authorized Nominating Authority (ANA) as prescribed in the Construction Act to administer the new dispute resolution system in the construction industry.
ADR Chambers is a highly regarded private company that has been in the business of providing dispute resolution services in Canada and internationally for more than 20 years. According to ADR Chambers’ website, they are the largest dispute resolution services provider in the world, having administered over more than 55,000 disputes in the last seven years. They have an impressive roster of independent arbitrators and mediators. In addition to providing mediation and arbitration services, ADR Chambers also provides dispute resolution training through its associated organization, the Stitt Feld Handy Group.
In accordance with the Construction Act, the ANA is responsible for:
- developing and overseeing programs for the training of persons as adjudicators;
- qualifying persons who meet the prescribed requirements as adjudicators;
- establishing and maintaining a publicly available registry of adjudicators;
- appointing adjudicators
The ANA has the authority to set the fees for training adjudicators and for the administration of adjudications.
ADR Chambers was selected through a rigorous 6 month process which was professionally managed independently on behalf of the Ministry of the Attorney General. It was rumoured that ANAs from other jurisdictions that already have construction dispute resolution systems in place were among the handful of applicants. The initial reaction is that ADR Chambers is an excellent choice, that the ANA role fits well in their current business model and that they can hit the ground running.
We believe that ADR Chambers will commence training adjudicators sometime in September and that they will have approximately 40 adjudicators ready to go on October 1, 2019 when the new system comes into effect. It is our understanding that, because adjudication is so different from arbitration and mediation, no one will be “grandfathered” on to the adjudication roster; every adjudicator will have to successfully complete the program of study developed by ADR Chambers specifically for construction adjudications in Ontario in order to qualify to conduct an adjudication. We understand that the course of study will include at least two days in class in Toronto as well as a number of online modules. The training will likely focus on the processes adjudicators can use to arrive at a decision for disputes at varying levels of cost and complexity. The ANA will earn revenue from training course fees and from a percentage of the adjudicators fee.