Oceaness has a wide commercial history built from beginnings in engineering design and project management in the subsea, onshore and offshore oil+gas sector, then into many other industries. Through this have developed skills in a host of specialist areas of wide applicability across many industrial sectors.

Dispute Avoidance & Dispute Resolution

Project contracts, especially multiple inter-relating EPC contracts for large developments, need a strategic approach. Experience shows that rarely if ever, is sufficient thought given to creating a joined-up definition and flow through these of contractual links, to incentives & disincentives, or to realistic design and delivery schedule planning. Client buyers place their reliance upon a belief that a procurement process will guarantee value-for-money and a successful delivery outcome. With similar self-distraction or as a deliberate tactic, contracting organisations often also pursue misguided strategies to win work; bid low then put their greatest effort into pursuing variations. There are better ways that would be more successful for all sides.

Whether before a contract is entered into, during its creation or tendering phases (the strategic approach), or once it is live and active in delivery (the resolution actions), recognising and implementing the ways to avoid differences becoming problems, disputes and conflicts, can save a lot of precious time and money. It will always be best to talk to us at the earliest stage of development planning.

We are now extending our capability into the provision of a mediation service. This may be facilitative, as generally advocated by the court system as an effective form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). Alternatively it may be evaluative, where those in dispute seek an independent and impartial mediator to consider their dispute and agree to accept that mediators quantitative view, and so help them set differences aside enabling them to move forward rather than becoming entrenched.

Standard Terms and Model Clauses

There are many core needs of standard terms of contracting yet it is surprising how often the components of placing contracts, a firms’ own standard requirements, and understanding what needs to be done to monitor and enforce rights, is overlooked. The result is often more misunderstandings and conflict. We can help through examining what you already use, or providing you with new standard terms of business more appropriate to your needs, along with the training of all the right personnel to make them effective and so a much less painful undertaking.

Business Ethics & the Statements of Business Principles

Business and industry are essential and good for society. But there are many facets to business that would lead decent, honest people and businesses to believe that they can or ought to modify their personal principles when the matter is for business. Viewed in a detached or objective way, those behaviours may instead be characterised as fraudulent, criminal, unethical, deceptive or unconscionable; collectively despicable business. Business ethics and personal ethics can seem to diverge.

Quite where the boundaries lie for each of these can depend upon national, cultural, individual or personal values. Many firms now fall over themselves to devise and promote their ethical values through such documents as a Statement of Ethics, Ethical Standards or a Statement of Business Principles. Invariably these are scripted to make all the right noises, but often if one delves deeper, they can be full of weasel words, or speak volumes through what they leave out. Furthermore they are not strictly legal documents, and such good principles as may be trumpeted may be impossible to enforce in a legal context. Instead you may need a different strategy to hold a business to account against what they claim to be their stated good principles.

At our core is the principle that integrity should apply as much to a business or trade as between individuals. This goes further than mere legal compliance, into doing what is “right”. Our aim is to help you investigate the claims to an ethical high ground by those you might deal with, or assist you to demonstrate integrity in your own business dealings and to earn plaudits for genuine high ethical standards.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Many firms engage in a host of worthwhile and meritorious causes. We can help you have those conversations with extensive contacts throughout organisations who work in social support, historic buildings, and environmental protection areas to name but a few. Let us help being people together and deal with the formalities of framing that support.