I feel very sorry for disputants like Alan Danieli (27 June, page 39) caught up in the expensive, acrimonious and drawn out process of construction dispute resolution, especially at the smaller end of the market where legal costs can be so high in relation to the sums at issue.

A well-formulated JCT Home Owner Contract with its very sensibly stated milestone approach to valuations (as opposed to periodic payments) could help. Failing good contract documentation, you are in a legal minefield.

However, I was mystified at the misunderstanding of the subject of mediation in the construction sector. I was involved in dispute resolution for many years as chartered quantity surveyor and architect and have worked on occasions exclusively in the expert witness area of dispute.

In contrast I became a trained mediator in 2005 and have since conducted mediation in various fields. I consider that construction-related professional bodies are not necessarily the best source of mediators. They have a vested interest in their members’ professional skills. Mediators need up-to-date skills in mediation, not the “experience in construction” pleaded by Danieli.

John Sparkes