An informal roundtable discussion on the use of Dispute Boards in commercial relationships led by Wolf von Kumberg, lately European Legal Director of Northrop Grumman, Michael Cover, Dispute Board Member, and John Lurie, Partner in Dorsey & Whitney (Europe) LLP.

Participants in the construction industry have led the way in pioneering a series of dispute avoidance techniques to help maintain business relationships and reduce the costs of dispute resolution. One technique which has been particularly successful involves the use of dispute boards. The dispute board helps to maintain effective communication between the parties through the life of the contract with a view to avoiding unnecessary escalation of disputes, and resolving disputes that persist in a way designed to preserve the commercial relationship between the parties. Using retained skilled experts, who can intervene at the first sign of disagreement, dispute boards provide an opportunity for parties to resolve their differences without becoming embroiled in formal proceedings.

There is great potential for the dispute board model to be embraced by businesses operating in other parts of trade and commerce. It is a particularly useful tool in long term projects where relationships have to be maintained such as design and development, outsourcing arrangements, joint ventures, infrastructure and long term service agreements.

Wolf von Kumberg, Michael Cover and John Lurie will draw on their experiences in the defence and construction sectors in outlining the ways in which dispute boards can be used outside the construction sector. Attendees will have the opportunity to discuss their use in different relationships in a roundtable format.

The discussion will be followed by an informal drinks reception providing attendees with a further opportunity to discuss these pressing issues and meet others responsible for dealing with them. To register, please click the button below.


Wolf von Kumberg was European Legal Director of Northrop Grumman Corporation for 28 years until February 2015 and has unique knowledge related to the Aerospace, Defence and High Tech Industries. His practise involved most regions of the world and included commercial, government and state entities and a huge range of disputes.

Michael Cover has over 30 years experience as a Barrister and Solicitor, both in private practice and as in-house Counsel. He is an accredited Mediator and has been involved in over 150 mediations. Michael acts as an arbitrator, adjudicator and dispute board member. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and a Chartered Arbitrator. He is on the panels of neutrals of many of the leading UK and international private dispute resolution institutions.

John Lurie advises on construction and engineering projects procured in the United Kingdom and internationally. He has extensive experience in project transactions and in all industry forms of dispute avoidance and dispute resolution.