Construction contract FIDIC 2017

How Does FIDIC 2017 Affect Claims?

I guess like many of you, I have not had the opportunity to examine the 2017 editions of the FIDIC contracts in much detail, because as yet, I have not come across any projects that are using them. This situation will, however, gradually change. As it does, we will need to know what has changed and how it has changed. As such projects reach final account stage there will undoubtedly be claims to resolve and disputes to settle. I have recently been doing research for a forthcoming book, so thought it would be worthwhile to highlight the changes from a claims perspective.

Employer's Claims

Sub-Clause 2.5 (Employer’s Claims) has been deleted in the FIDIC 2017 editions. Employer’s claims are now dealt with together with Contractor’s claims under Sub-Clauses 20.1 (Claims) and 20.2 (Claims For Payment and/or EOT).

The Employer is now obliged to give a notice of claim no later than 28 days after the event or circumstances giving rise to the claim. This has now become a condition precedent to entitlement for both Parties.

If the Engineer considers that a notice of claim was not given within the stipulated 28-days, he/she is obliged to give a notice of such within 14 days of receipt of the notice of claim. If the Engineer fails to do so, the notice will be deemed to have been given within the stipulated time. The responding Party may also give a notice to the Engineer if they consider that the notice of claim was out of time.

Claims for Payment

Sub-Clause 20.2 (Claims For Payment and/or EOT) is a little more descriptive of what is meant by “a fully detailed claim”. It requires the claimant to include ‘a detailed description of the event or circumstances giving rise to the Claim’. Also, ‘A statement of the contractual and/or legal basis of the Claim’ must be provided. These requirements are just a matter of good practice. Nevertheless, previously, many claimants did not include such basic information within their claims.

The period for submission of the fully detailed claim has been extended from 42 days to 84 days. But, failure to submit ‘A statement of the contractual and/or legal basis of the Claim’ within this time period will result in the notice of claim becoming lapsed. FIDIC is not clear on what this actually means. However, I believe that the intention is that the claim becomes time-barred.

The Engineer is obliged to consult with the Parties in an endeavour to reach agreement. If agreement is not reached, the Engineer must make a fair determination within 42 days of receiving the claim or additional particulars of the claim. If there is no agreement to extend this period, failure to issue a notice of either agreement of determination shall be deemed to be a rejection of the claim. The claimant may then refer the matter as a dispute. Previously, the Engineer only had to respond to the claim within 42 days. No time limit existed on the period for agreement or determination. Now they have to bring the matter to a resolution within 42 days. Six-weeks is not an onerous time to achieve this, provided that the Engineer takes action immediately upon receiving the claim.


Disputes & Arbitration

Clause 21 (Disputes and Arbitration) is solely concerned with disputes. It distinguishes between claims and disputes, reflecting the fact that claims only become disputes if they cannot be agreed. They should not be regarded as being related.

The clauses dealing with claims and determinations have become much wordier and much more complicated. To my mind, they are not easy to follow or to understand. This seems to be a departure of FIDIC’s intention to write contracts for engineers rather than for lawyers. Personally, I see this lack of clarity as a route to contention.

Having said this, it is apparent that FIDIC have attempted to strengthen the procedures relating to claims and responses. If we consider the amount of time-consuming and costly disputes which arise because the Parties have not complied with either their obligations or with good practice when dealing with claims, this is definitely a step in the right direction.

Will it mean more work for contractors or engineers?

I don’t think that the changes require any more work than should have been put in under the 1999 editions. However, the consequences of non-compliance are now more severe. Both contractors and engineers need to get their acts together. They must stop thinking that they can ignore their obligations to manage claims in accordance with the Contract without consequences.


Find out more about our FIDIC e-courses over on our e-courses page.

FIDIC Notices

FIDIC 1999 Notices - Andy Hewitt's Latest Book

At the end of 2019 I was working with a contractor-client on several extension of time and additional cost claims. I needed to demonstrate that the contractor had complied with the contractual notice provisions in FIDIC.

This client had sent some notices. In most cases though, these didn’t comply with the contract requirements. In many cases they were completely meaningless as notices.

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Coronavirus and Construction - Is the Contractor Entitled to Claim?


The global hot topic this month is definitely the coronavirus. It's affecting many construction projects.  Labour, materials, plant or equipment are coming from China (or other affected countries) and supply has been delayed. So what do you do if you're a contractor in this situation? Are you entitled to make a claim? depends on your particular contract, but possibly.

I know that this is a bit of a lawyer’s answer, but it really does depend on several things. Let’s however, have a look at what the FIDIC Red and Yellow Books, 1999 Editions, have to say on the subject.Read more

FIDIC Amendments and The Golden Principles

We have all seen it. We receive what we assume is a FIDIC form of contract. But when we examine its contents or the Particular Conditions, we find it has been subject to amendments and changed considerably. FIDIC amendments we often see include:

  • Clauses struck out, usually those that give the contractor rights and remedies.
  • New clauses appear which are often punitive toward the contractor.
  • The remeasurable Red Book changes to a lump-sum contract.
  • Time-frames may have been reduced for the Contractor’s actions and extended. Alternatively, time-frames vanish altogether for the Engineer and Employer’s obligations.

Added to this, the changes and amendments are often poorly drafted and the final version contains ambiguities and conflicts.

So what we end up with is not what FIDIC intended. In short, it does not do what it says on the tin.

Employers and Engineer’s make these changes in an attempt toRead more

Construction and Contract News 2019

We are looking ahead to 2020 and back on the past year. What has changed and what should we be looking out for in the world of construction contract and claims? We take a look in this round-up of construction and contract news from around the world…

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Claims Class

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 told us that he spent a lot of time dealing with inadequate claims. He 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 you spend this time working on justifiable claims. Don't waste time reviewing and responding to claims where the contractor has no entitlement, or to those that have not been submitted in an appropriate manner.

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construction claims responses and determinations

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 escalate 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 on 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. This has a detrimental effect on projects.

So, what should Engineers 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

Construction contract FIDIC 2017

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

We all want to avoid disputes on our construction projects. But it seems we fail to learn from lessons of the past. ARCADIS have just published their annual Global Construction Disputes Report 2019. 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: 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 to do if one of the parties is trying to frustrate the procedure by refusing to agree to the appointment of the DAB. The following advice is relates to the FIDIC contracts. However, it may be equally applied to other forms of contract that have dispute board provisions.

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