5 Tips for Success When Claiming for Variations

A question that I am often asked during CPD talks and claims training courses is “is it necessary to submit claims for a variation?”. Unfortunately, I am going to have to give a lawyer’s answer to this and say that “it depends”.

If the party responsible for administering the contract follows the procedure set out in most forms of contracts for instructing variations, then the answer is “no”, because the variation has been acknowledged and it will either be measured and evaluated as part of the remeasurement on a remeasureable contract or as a separate evaluation leading to a change of the contract price of a lump sum contract.Read more


An Explanation of 'Time at Large'

A blog reader asked for an explanation of “time at large”. This is not something that I have personally come across in practical terms, so for the advice that I am about to give, I am indebted to my ex-boss, Roger Knowles, who provides an explanation in his book, 150 Contractual Problems and their Solutions. Roger explains:

"Time is at large when a contract is entered into with no period of time fixed for completion. Where this occurs, the contractor’s obligation is to compete within a reasonable time."

I have never experienced such a situation and I expect that when it does occur, it will be on Read more


Inadequately Expressed Claims: the second most frequent reason for disputes

ARCADIS have recently published their Global Construction Dispute Report 2018 and unsurprisingly “Poorly drafted or incomplete/unsubstantiated claims” is reported as the second most frequent reason for disputes. This annual report has consistently ranked the same reason highly for several years, so it seems that the industry is not learning the fact that the onus is on the claimant to properly prove his case and that failure to do so will be costly and time-consuming.Read more


What Qualifies As Force Majeure Under FIDIC?

One of our blog subscribers requested advice on Force Majeure under the FIDIC Red or Yellow books. The good news is that the FIDIC Force Majeure clauses are just about the same under the Red, Yellow, Silver and Gold forms of contract, so this is applicable to all of them.Read more


How To Ensure Engineer’s Responses And Instructions Do Not Result In Expensive Claims

A request was raised by one of our blog followers to examine the Engineer’s duty to provide instructions and responses within a reasonable time. In my experience, failure of the Engineer to comply with such obligations often gives rise to claims, so this is definitely worth a blog. I shall use the 1999 FIDIC Red Book as an example, although other forms of contract also contain similar provisions.

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How to Administer the Contractor’s Programme

One of our followers asked for some advice on the administration of the Contractor’s programme. The questions raised relate to fairly frequently occurring situations, so this subject is definitely worthy of a blog post. I have reproduced the queries below and I will refer to the FIDIC forms of contract and terminology when providing my advice.Read more


Contractors! Are Your Claims Responded to Correctly?

EC Harris’ (now Arcadis) Global Construction Dispute Report has, for many years, cited inadequately expressed claims as being one of the top five causes of disputes in the construction industry.

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Trying Your Luck - Where do you draw the line with your claim submissions?

I was recently asked a question by one of our distance learning students which, at some time or another, you may have asked yourself. The question was:Read more


A Simple and Effective Way to Improve Claims: Visuals in Narratives

One of our distance learning students recently raised a point that graphics and other visuals can be effectively used to enhance a claim document and I agree with him, provided that some basic rules are followed. In this blog we look at visuals in narratives and how they could improve your claim.Read more


Top 10 Secrets of Successful Subcontract Commercial & Claims Management

It is no secret at all that subcontracting is one of the highest risk sectors within our industry. Subcontractors suffer more than most from the mistakes and misdemeanours of others. If the project is poorly funded then the Main Contractor’s first course of action is to reduce outgoings. The easiest way to do this is to delay or limit payments to Subcontractors.Read more