Case Study: In-House Training for Government Employees in Africa

As well as delivering online e-courses, we offer in-house training for companies. We were approached by the government department responsible for roads and highways in an African country. The department was experiencing several problems related to claims and wanted to train their in-house staff on how claims should be managed effectively. The problems were:Read more


How to Manage and Minimise the Submission of Spurious Claims

The Claims Class blog has attracted loyal readers over the years. We get lots of comments as well as questions on issues that our readers are dealing with on their projects. And this often gives me inspiration for new articles. A reader recently asked how he could effectively manage and minimise the submission of spurious contractor's claims. So here are my thoughts...

Consultants need to spend a lot of time and effort to manage and respond to contractor's claims. So it's worth making sure that this time is spent working on justifiable claims, not on reviewing and responding to claims where the contractor has no entitlement, or to those that have not been submitted in an appropriate manner to enable a proper review and response.

Remember that the onus is on the claimant to prove the case. Even though most contracts require consultants toRead more


Top 10 Tips for Effective Letter Writing

One of the things I notice when I review the records to prepare a claim, review claims on behalf of the respondent, or review particulars put forward in a dispute, is the poor standard of letter writing. This ranges from “could have been better” right through to “I have no idea what this letter means”. If your letters fall into these categories, you are not doing yourself or your company any favours. In fact, you could be doing considerable harm. This blog, therefore, contains my Top 10 Tips for effective letter writing.

1. You are not writing the letter for your opposite number on the project. You are writing it as an accurate record to be relied upon in case a claim or dispute arises in the future. The letter must therefore be fully understood by someone who has no prior knowledge of the project or the matters in question.

2. The letter should be a stand-alone document. In other words, a reader with no prior knowledge should be able to understand it without reference to any other documents.

3. Quotations are very powerful, so rather than describing things in your own words, use quotations from other records or the contract. When you do use quotations, make sure that you identify them as such.Read more


The Engineer's Responses and Determinations: What Should be Included?

Earlier this year I presented a CPD talk to RICS members in Dubai on the topic of Engineer’s Responses and Determinations. I usually like to kick things of with a poll and I asked the group the following questions:

How many people have experienced a situation where the Engineer does not respond to a claim within the contractual time-frame? Almost everyone confirmed that they had.

How many people have experienced a situation where the Engineer’s response has done little to resolve the claim? Again, almost everyone confirmed that they had.

How many people have experienced a situation where the Engineer’s response has caused the matter to be escalated to a dispute? Over 50% of attendees confirmed that they had.

How many think that failures of the Engineer to carry out their contractual obligations with respect to claims is helpful to projects? No one thought that this helped projects.

This is clear feedback from RICS members that the Engineers often do not perform their obligations and that this has a detrimental effect on projects.

So, what should Engineer’s be doing to help projects when responding to claims? Well, as usual, the contract provides the answers, so let’s have a look at what the FIDIC Red Book has to say on the subject.Read more


How to Ensure you Avoid Costly and Time-Consuming Disputes on your Projects

ARCADIS have just published their annual Global Construction Disputes Report 2019 and it makes interesting, but, not altogether surprising reading.

This year, the top three reasons for disputes are:

  1. Owner/Contractor/Subcontractor failing to understand and/or comply with its contractual obligations;
  2. Errors and/or omissions in the contract document;
  3. Failure to properly administer the contract.

Some other interesting noteworthy observations are:Read more


Q&A: Delay Analysis

In partnership with the CIOB, Claims Class is running a series of monthly webinars on construction claims. The webinars are based on our Construction Claims e-courses and workshops and have attracted between 150 and 300 attendees per session.

At the end of each webinar, we invite questions and send the attendees answers to any questions that we do not have time to answer during the webinar. I've been sharing the Q&A responses on our blog (see blogs on Q&A: Contract Administration and Q&A: Types of Claim) and we've received good feedback from our readers. So, I've decided to do the same for this month's blog. The following are questions and answers from the webinar on Delay Analysis.Read more


Q&A: Types of Claim

In partnership with the CIOB, Claims Class is running a series of monthly webinars on construction claims. The webinars are based on our Construction Claims e-courses and workshops and have attracted between 150 and 300 attendees per session.

At the end of each webinar, we invite questions and send the attendees answers to any questions that we do not have time to answer during the webinar. I thought that this would provide some useful insight to our blog readers so, the following are questions and answers from the webinar on Types of Claim.Read more


Q&A: Contract Administration for Claims

In partnership with the CIOB, Claims Class is running a series of monthly webinars on construction claims. The webinars are based on our Construction Claims e-courses and workshops and have attracted between 150 and 300 attendees per session.

At the end of each webinar, we invite questions and send the attendees answers to any questions that we do not have time to answer during the webinar. I thought that this would provide some useful insight to our blog readers so, the following are questions and answers from the webinar on Contract Administration for Claims.Read more


How to Ensure a DAB is Formed Correctly

A blog subscriber recently asked for some advice on the setting up and organisation of a Dispute Adjudication Board (DAB). They specifically wanted to know what might be done if one of the parties is trying to frustrate the dispute procedure by refusing to agree to the appointment of the DAB. The following advice is related to the FIDIC contracts but may be equally applied to other forms of contract that have dispute board provisions.

Read more


Notices: Should a Contractor submit if he is not sure whether he intends to make a claim?

A Claims Class blog follower recently asked for advice on the correct interpretation of FIDIC Sub-Clause 20.1 (Contractor’s Claims) with regard to situations where the Contractor is not sure if he will submit a claim or not.

It’s not unusual for the Contractor to become aware of an event that may cause delay, the occurrence of additional Cost or entitlement for additional payment, but at the time that he becomes aware, he may not be aware of the final effect of the event.Read more