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Posted by Paul Heming on 17th December 2018

The JCT and Relevant Events

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The construction industry is full of jargon and it can be difficult to understand all the acronyms and terms used. It’s even more difficult when it comes to construction contracts. We’ve written this article to provide clarity on the term “Relevant Events” and what it means in Joint Contract...
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Posted by Paul Heming on 20th November 2018

JCT Contracting

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What is a JCT Contract? The Joints Contract Tribunal, often referred to as the JCT, is an independent organisation that publishes standard forms of Building Contracts for use in England and Wales. The JCT suite of Contracts is a standard set of Contract documents, designed to be fair and reasonable...
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Posted by Paul Heming on 18th November 2018

Dealing with Errors, Divergencies and Discrepancies in Variations

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The scenario We put forward the following scenario to Jason Farnell, Adjudicator and CEDR Accredited Mediator. "I'm working on an amended JCT D & B Subcontract where we're contracted to clad the entire building envelope from Ground to Roof. An area of our scope had an inconsistency - part ...
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Posted by Paul Heming on 9th November 2018

NEC Contracts and Cash Flow Management

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"I'm a Main Contractor Tendering for a project where the Contract will be an NEC Option A Contract. We want to understand what the potential impacts of this Contract Type are in terms of Cash Flow and, the best management practices generally." That’s the scenario that we put forward to Jason ...
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Posted by Paul Heming on 2nd November 2018

Design and Build Contracts – Increase your profit

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A Design and Build Contract is a contract where the Main Contractor offers to design and build a project for a price that includes both the design and construction. What I found striking throughout my career is the lack of contractual knowledge of even some of the most highly-skilled construction...
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Posted by Paul Heming on 26th October 2018

Can I claim for loss of profit in variations?

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The scenario: I’m working on an unamended JCT 2016 Building Contract with a £3m lump sum Contract Sum. The Employer is looking to amend an element of the works and has issued an instruction to omit a relatively large portion (approximately 10% in financial terms) of our scope of works. These ...
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Posted by Paul Heming on 19th October 2018

The client is late issuing their Notice to Commence works on site – what should I do?

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Ever wondered the best way to respond when your client is late issuing their Notice to Commence works on site? We’ve put together a real-life scenario where this happened and asked Jason Farnell, Adjudicator and CEDR Accredited Mediator, to provide actionable guidance on how you can best manage...
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Posted by Paul Heming on 12th October 2018

What happens when you’re late issuing a Payment Notice?

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We've all felt that pang of dread when you realise you're late to issue a payment notice on time, and it's on a questionable subcontractor valuation that you need to issue a Pay Less notice. What are your options when that happens? Well, we put the following scenario to the experts at Commercial ...
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Posted by Paul Heming on 12th September 2018

Project Lifecycle – 12. Notices to Commence

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A Notice to Commence (NTC) is a formal communication from the Client to the Contractor stating the date the Contractor can begin work. The reason NTC’s are so important is they confirm the date when the contract performance starts and therefore, they're used to calculate the completion date and...
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Posted by Paul Heming on 21st August 2018

Project Lifecycle – 11. PCSA Agreements

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Pre-Construction Services Agreements (PCSAs) are used to appoint design and build Subcontractors to carry out services before entering into contract and tend to be used as part of a strategy to remove risk. PCSAs are generally advantageous as the early involvement of ‘Specialists’ can lead to...
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Posted by Christopher Barber on 12th July 2018

Stealth CDP

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The design element of a contract represents one of the best opportunities for a contractor to increase margins on a project. It also represents one of the riskiest areas where you can lose margin. Ever been hit by a Stealth CDP (Contractor’s Design Portion)? If you have, there’s a good chance yo...
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Posted by Paul Heming on 11th July 2018

Project Lifecycle – 6. Design Delay Claims

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Last week we discussed the various tools to use to make sure you can claim for time lost during the design period. I’m a firm believer that when you suffer delays in construction, the priority is to get an Extension of Time and following that, to recover the money associated. The question is - ...
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Posted by Paul Heming on 20th June 2018

Project lifecycle – 4. Understanding the contract

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Understanding the contract is of absolute importance to the success of your project. Do you know how many days you have to give notice of a variation? What do you do when there is a delay event – are there particular rules on this? Projects are not simple. Knowing how to act in difficult situat...
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Posted by Paul Heming on 6th June 2018

Project Lifecycle – 2. Programme Negotations

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Contract negotiation almost always involves compromise to achieve a document that is acceptable to all parties. Projects may succeed or fail as a direct result of the terms and conditions in the contract and the quality of the programme is no different. Successfully negotiating a favourable progr...
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Posted by Paul Heming on 31st May 2018

Project Lifecycle – 1. Order of Precedence

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What is Order of Precedence in Contracts? Construction Contracts are often very large and include lots of different Numbered Documents like the drawings, scope of works etc. To give these documents meaning and to rank their importance, many contracts include an ‘Order of Precedence’ Clause whic...
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Posted by Paul Heming on 3rd December 2017

Payment Provisions: JCT Design & Build

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As is usual in JCT contracts there are two methods for determining payments, termed ‘stage’ and ‘periodic’ payments; both of which provide for monthly payments, the difference being in the method of determining what is to be paid.  The Contract Particulars giving the option for which paymen...
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Posted by Paul Heming on 1st December 2017

Payment Provisions – JCT Subcontracts

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The sub-contract is drafted with the intention that valuations regime under the sub-contract should be linked to the Main Contract application dates, commencing with the Interim Valuation Date immediately following the commencement of a sub-contractor’s work on site. The due date for payment is 12...
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Posted by Paul Heming on 2nd November 2017

Sectional Contracts – Reading between the lines!

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CREDIT: Jason Farnell, Commercial Risk Management In the recent judgement in Vinci Construction UK Limited and Beumer Group UK Limited it was argued, under a contract which had been divided into sections, that the delay damages were ‘uncertain, inoperable and unenforceable’ and that therefore t...
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Posted by Paul Heming on 31st October 2017

Sectional Sub-Contracts – Reading between the lines!

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CREDIT: Jason Farnell, Commercial Risk Management In the recent judgement in Vinci Construction UK Limited and Beumer Group UK Limited it was argued, under a contract which had been divided into sections, that the delay damages were ‘uncertain, inoperable and unenforceable’ and that therefore t...
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Posted by Paul Heming on 3rd October 2017

Design and Build – ‘He who decides, designs!’

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CREDIT: Jason Farnell, Commercial Risk Management In an un-amended JCT design and build contract, the Contractor’s obligation in respect of design is to ‘complete the design’, meaning that the Client will have prepared initial designs for the project which need to be finalised by the Contract...
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Posted by Paul Heming on 29th September 2017

Design and Build – You’re the specialist!

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CREDIT: Jason Farnell, Commercial Risk Management In an un-amended JCT design and build sub-contract, the specialist Contractor’s obligation in respect of design is to ‘complete the design’ for the sub-contract works, including the selection of the specification of materials if not described ...
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Posted by Paul Heming on 29th August 2017

Demolition Health And Safety Requirements

When working with demolition contractors, health and safety always takes paramount importance. Of course, this is the case when it comes to all types of construction, but there are specific requirements for demolition. The law states that structural alteration, dismantling, and demolition must be ca...
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Posted by Paul Heming on 20th August 2017

Deeds of Variation (DoV)

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CREDIT: Jason Farnell, Commercial Risk Management Those who can do, and those who can’t … compromise? Perhaps it is a feature of the London developer-led construction & property market, but it does seem to me to be prevalent - I am of course referring to the practice of entering into Deeds...
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Posted by Paul Heming on 2nd August 2017

Redefining jurisdiction – don’t procrastinate

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CREDIT: Jason Farnell, Commercial Risk Management The recent High Court appeal judgement handed down by the Hon. Mr Justice Coulson in Mailbox (Birmingham) Ltd and Galliford Try Building Limited ([2017] EWHC1405) serves as a reminder about the structure and purpose of certain contract clauses; a wa...
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Posted by Paul Heming on 5th July 2017

Principal Designer Roles with respect to Temporary Works.

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The Construction Design and Management Regulations (CDM) are the primary regulations for managing the health, safety and welfare of construction projects. CDM applies to all building and construction work and includes new build, demolition, refurbishment, extensions, conversions, repair, decorati...
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Posted by Paul Heming on 1st July 2017

Extensions of Time – Nobody told me!

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At the beginning of a contract, when relationships are being formed and the excitement of a brand new project is enthusiastically being embraced by everyone involved, human nature will usually preclude any action that might otherwise disturb the bonhomie.  This might be understandable, but it is ce...
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Posted by Paul Heming on 2nd March 2017

Retention… your money!

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It is quite extraordinary to think that despite the apparently universal disdain for it, the antiquated and out-moded practice of deduction of retention is still prevalent and endorsed by industry standard forms of contract.  In other words part of the value of the output of almost every company in...
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Posted by Paul Heming on 14th February 2017

Changes to JCT Design and Build

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JCT Design and Build Contract 2016 – What is new and how does it affect you? Plus ca change, plus ca la meme chose!  What has changed, nothing much!  The apportionment of risk between the Employer and the Contractor remains unchanged in the unamended, standard document and as always the imposi...
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Posted by Paul Heming on 19th January 2017

Manual Handling Update

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The HSE has revised guidance and produced a new toolkit to help organisations manage and mitigate against the risks associated with manual handling activities. Manual handling injuries are part of a wider group of musculoskeletal disorders (MSD’s) which covers injury, damage or disorder of the ...
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Posted by Paul Heming on 18th January 2017

Record Keeping – Who needs to? You do!

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In the competitive construction and property market only the best managed and administered companies will perform at the top end of the range of achievable margins: record keeping is a huge part of this. An industry-wide shortcoming is the maintenance of adequate records, despite the widespread a...
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Posted by Paul Heming on 26th December 2016

Payment terms – A Call to Action

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Good cash flow management is critical to the success of companies in every industry. In construction, where payment is typically received long after costs are incurred however, it is vital. Poor payment practices by larger construction firms can cause real damage to those further down the supply ...
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