Being involved in a fledgling association of project neutrals, I read with interest Simon Lewis’ article on their potential use (2 July, page 52).

It seems to me that, sponsored by recent industry reforms and under the influence of partnering, the nature of the contracts that people engage in has altered. The advent of the NEC X12 option and the PPC2000 and the Be forms of contract suggest there is an appetite for change in the way that project teams are assembled and projects procured. There has been a gradual preference for “dispute avoidance” processes to support these arrangements.

There is undoubtedly a role for the project neutral and it could be similar in operation to a dispute resolution board with a partnering advisory capability added on for good measure.