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Alliancing in Australia—No-Litigation contracts : a tautology?

American Society of Civil Engineers
Publication Date
  • 120201 Building Construction Management And Project Planning
  • Contract
  • Litigation
  • Australia
  • Legal Factors
  • Crc For Construction Innovation
  • Program A : Business And Industry Development
  • Project 2002-022-A : Value In Project Delivery Systems: Facilitating A Change In Culture


A project alliance is a business strategy whereby client and commercial participants’ objectives are aligned. This paper takes an alliance project between public and private organizations in Queensland, Australia as a case study and reports the critical factors identified that influence the success of the alliance project. Alliancing is a system that provides a collaborative environment and a framework to adapt behavior to project objectives. It is about sharing resources and experiences, exposing the “hidden” risks. The case study suggests that leadership has a strong influence on the alliance climate. Commitment and action by the Project Alliance Board and, so, parent organizations have a strong impact on the team and alliance culture, indicating alliancing has a high chance of failure when there is inadequate support from top management. Like all relational contracting approaches, trust between alliance partners is important. This case study project takes a further step toward reinforcing the trust element by placing a No-Dispute clause in the alliance agreement. A review of the effects of the no-litigation clause upon the project team is presented. The writers conclude that without a positive approach to relationship management, a No-Dispute approach is impossible. Hence, they postulate that a “no-litigation” alliancing contract is essentially tautological, and go on to argue that a no-litigation contract cannot exist without the help of a clear relational vision, that leads to both soft and hard infrastructure to assist in decision making and relationship building.

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