Category: Review

What Have You Forgotten?

When you write your own contract (possibly cobbling together clauses and copying and pasting paragraphs from other contracts, the internet or elsewhere) you may find that you haven’t actually covered all the essentials. I have worked with a few companies in the construction industry who have created their own contract

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Beware time-bar provisions

Adjudication is sometimes described as a rough and ready from of speedy dispute resolution and is mandatory for certain construction contracts in the UK. Where it is mandatory it can be commenced at any time. Where the contract does not come within the mandatory statutory requirements, eg for a residential

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What is Practical Completion?

A recent Court of Appeal case has confirmed what I tell my workshop delegates, that practical completion is easier to recognise than define Whilst shying away from hard and fast rules, and confirming it is a matter for the contract administrator to decide, the Court said: latent defects cannot prevent

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Review Your Contract: Trust

A few years ago, I was speaking to an audience at an RICS event and someone asked how he should proceed to write a contract if he didn’t trust ‘them’ (also known as ‘the other side’). I was momentarily stunned into silence – a rare and unusual occurrence for me!

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Who bears the risk?

Most UK construction projects are carried out on standard form contracts which set out specific events which can entitle one or other of the contracting parties to a range of remedies: an adjustment or extension to the planned completion date more money either for carrying out additional works or for

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Right to Finish

A contract is a legally binding agreement that creates mutual rights and obligations on the contracting parties. A contract not only obliges the contractor to provide specific works or services but also gives the contractor a right to finish those works or services. There are two mechanisms by which contracts

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Contracts: Which Meaning Prevails?

What does your contract mean? Perhaps not what you intended… Words vs Purpose The courts interpret contracts based on examining each word (the literal approach focusing on language) and business common sense (the ‘purposive’ approach focusing on practical implications). Although language should be the surest guide as to what the

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Review Your Contract: Recognise Traps

According to a Brief History of Cunning (podcast), Machiavelli said: one must be a fox to recognise traps and a lion to recognise wolves This struck a chord because as a contracts expert, one of my services is to review contracts on behalf of contractor and specialist subcontractors to identify

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Review Your Scope: Is It Included?

To work out whether works, goods or services are ‘extra’ ie a change to the original scope, you need to know the original scope of the works as well as how your contract defines changes/variations/extras. However, the definition of a change varies from pretty wide (eg JCT), to narrow (MF/1)

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What Can You Change?

Most contracts will include some form of mechanism or procedure allowing the parties to change the goods, works and services being provided. There are a number of myths about variation clauses because a simple express clause such as this in NEC4 “The Project Manager may give an instruction which changes

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