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 to be fair and reasonable when responding to claims, this obligation does not extend to proving the contractor’s claim on the contractor’s behalf.

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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: 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.

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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


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


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