Paul Hastings London backs information-sharing protocol

A steering group has launched a protocol guide for the UK construction industry with the help of the London office of Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker.

The Project Information eXchange (PIX) Protocol Guide & Toolkit, launched in March, is an agreed set of rules for the exchange of information on a project, designed to reduce later disputes. The protocol, pitched as an industry tool deemed most suitable for medium-to-large projects, will be available as a download free of charge to anyone who wants to use it.

The protocol is made up of four key components: a guide to help identify the benefits of the process; a checklist to help define information management requirements and objectives; a review designed to capture intelligence on how information is generated; and a checklist to ensure development of the protocol.

Katie Graham, head of the construction and engineering department at Paul Hastings and a member of the steering group, says: “The protocol is a way of sharing information, using collaborative intelligence for greater clarity for all parties involved in a project.”

Project managers, construction companies, clients and partners on major projects are likely to use the service to ensure information is aligned throughout a whole team. Graham noted that the protocol would ensure parties could understand fully how matters are proceeding to save time and costs in the long run.

Graham first became involved in the scheme after volunteering while at Hammonds, her previous firm. “I’d been doing non-contentious drafting work and had been involved in a prime contracting initiative for the Ministry of Defence on large projects, and so felt equipped to be a part of the steering group,” she says.

From Hammonds, Graham went to Paul Hastings and was instructed by the firm to continue the work.

The steering group comprised leading industry figures from organisations including BAA, CS Systems, Laing Construction, the Office of Government and Ove Arup. Graham contributed legal input, feedback and advice on a pro bono basis.

The London office of Paul Hastings has a commitment to pro bono work to the tune of 20 hours per fee-earner each year, and in Graham’s case, the hours put into the protocol were able to be credited as chargeable. “The PIX protocol is a step in the right direction and so far we’ve had positive feedback. Pro bono work adds to the firm’s variety of service and is ultimately very rewarding,” she adds.