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ARBITRATION WORLD FIDIC Dispute Adjudication Board Referrals: Lessons from a Landmark Swiss Court Judgment by Ben Beaumont (Thomas More Chambers) INTRODUCTION The Swiss Federal Supreme Court (the “Court”), in its important judgment No. 4 A_124 of 2014 on the role of a Dispute Adjudication Board (“DAB”) under the FIDIC Red Book regime, considered when parties need not formally commence DAB proceedings before refer- ring a dispute to arbitration. The application before the Court was for setting aside an arbitral award. The powers of the Court in this regard are outlined in the round-up of Swiss arbitration decisions published in this edition of Arbitration World. The judgment, originally delivered in French, has been informally translated into English. Quotations in this article are taken from that translation. THE FIDIC DAB MECHANISM FIDIC, the International Federation of Consulting Engineers, is a pre- eminent global construction association. Its 1999 general conditions for construction contracts (the “Conditions”), commonly known as the Red Book, are widely used for complex construction projects. They envisage DABs as the principal dispute resolution mechanism. A DAB is a construction-specific adjudication tribunal that renders its ruling on an expedited timescale and without a hearing. DAB deci- sions are enforceable, but either party may refer the matter to arbi- tration if it does not agree with the DAB’s findings. Parties appoint the DAB in a consensual process. If one party (usually the respon- dent employer) does not cooperate, this can lead to significant delays in the DAB being appointed. 87