Dispute Review Advisors (DRAs) and Dispute Review Boards (DRBs) are utilized in high-value contracts, to monitor potential and actual conflicts, where the parties are deeply invested in the success of their venture. DRAs and DRBs are impartial third-parties that work with the contracting parties from the beginning of a project to prevent disputes and assist in early resolution of disputes should any arise throughout the duration of the project.
Although many contracts today contain mediation or arbitration provisions, these provisions aren’t formulated to prevent disputes. DRAs and DRBs place a premium on dispute prevention, working to ensure that relationships stay healthy and the flow of the project, remain uninterrupted. Not only is dispute prevention less expensive than dispute resolution, when timely completion of milestones is important, contracting parties choose to utilize DRAs or DRBs because they cannot afford not to. DRAs and DRBs, which have a long history of success in the construction industry, can be utilized to prevent and resolve disputes fairly, quickly, and cost effectively in a vast array of settings and contractual arrangements.
DRAs and DRBs are typically engaged for projects over $1 million. DRBs, which are usually comprised of three members, are typically engaged in projects over $3 million. The DRA or DRB regularly meet with the constituents from the beginning and throughout the life of a project to facilitate conversations and confirm that expectations are being met. Because the DRA is both impartial and intimately knowledgeable about the contract, the project, and the parties, it is easier for all sides to come to a fair result with a neutral who truly understands the issues, concerns, and needs on all sides.
The flexibility that a DRA can bring to the dispute resolution process in today’s complex business environment provides parties with the ability to create innovative and tailored dispute resolution processes that fit their own unique projects. The DRA helps parties to avoid the “one size fits all approach” found in most contractual mediation and arbitration clauses.
Ellie Vilendrer’s background and experience uniquely position her to be a dynamic choice as a DRA. For nearly two decades, Ms. Vilendrer has cultivated her skills as a pre-eminent negotiator and early dispute resolution professional. Ms. Vilendrer is the Co-Chair of the Early Dispute Resolution Committee of the American Bar Association’s Dispute Resolution Section. She has spent thousands of hours studying, training, and working in the fields of negotiation, mediation, and arbitration including executive training at Harvard University. Demonstrating that she can put theory to practice, Ms. Vilendrer achieved the best outcome in a scored negotiation among 60 professional negotiators from around the world in 2015.
Ms. Vilendrer is known for her thorough preparation, foresight, creative thinking, and collaborative style. Through her high level of care and expertise, she has earned a reputation as a credible advisor which has translated into a successful track record of bringing difficult disputes to a close in an efficient, thoughtful, and fair manner.