The contract is the most important document in any construction project as it sets out the obligations, rights and liabilities of the parties. The importance of negotiating effective terms of contract at the outset of a project cannot be overstated. Decisions made now will have a significant impact on your risk and profitability further down the line.
We can provide clear and practical contract advice to assist you in understanding your obligations, rights and liabilities and, just as importantly, those of the other party. From this, we can reduce uncertainty, and identify risks and opportunities allowing you to more efficiently and effectively manage your project to the benefit of the bottom line.
If we are engaged before you enter into a contract, we can provide a cost effective contract vetting service where we check its terms and highlight those that are onerous or high risk. Remember, you may be bound by a contract even if you have not signed it.
Finally, if you are engaging others, such as suppliers or subcontractors, we provide a contract drafting service either from first principles or by way of amendments to a standard form of contract to address and properly and appropriately allocate risks that are unique to you and/or the project.
On many occasions we encounter ‘standard’ contract amendments that seek only to allocate all the risk to the other party regardless of whether that allocation is beneficial to the project. This will inevitably create contracts that are unfair, anti-collaborative and promote disputes.
Our practical experience allows us to avoid drafting such terms by quickly identifying and properly allocating the key risks in the project by way of clear and sensible terms or amendments.
A commercial department should cover its own costs, i.e. the financial consequences of not having it are greater than the cost of having it. However, your company may not be large enough to justify the cost of a full time commercial manager.
Our commercial management expertise is second to none; we can provide commercial services for your company to reduce your risk and maximise your bottom line by introducing ‘planning for profit’ processes and procedures, from effective procurement and tender evaluation through to profitable final account. Our commercial management service includes training your existing staff so that our involvement reduces over time.
In addition, we can undertake a project review, a critical intervention into a ‘broken’ project, analysing how and why your project team has not performed or why their targets have not been achieved and produce a strategic recovery plan to ensure the project is effectively repaired and brought back to profit.
Finally, if you feel that your Programme Manager, Resident Engineer, Superintendent, Contract Administrator or Clerk of Works requires supervision or your contractor is complaining that your Site Representative is not performing and is costing him time and money, then we can supervise your Representative on site and report back to you (the Employer/Client) on performance and competence of your Site Representative and potentially head-off a costly dispute.
We actively practice dispute avoidance. We fervently believe that disputes, and the costs associated with them, should and can be avoided and will always seek to do so in any advice we give to you.
In the wider sense, this can take the form of early intervention and robust procedures to minimise the risk of disputes occurring later in a project.
In the narrower sense, we take all steps to ensure that existing disputes do not progress to a formal dispute resolution process by issuing clear, concise and robust communications to the other party. Our team has a strong track record in quickly identifying the key drivers and then simply ‘getting around the table’ and negotiating settlement.
If a dispute cannot be avoided, we provide practical and cost effective advice, management and support throughout the entire process from formulating and producing your claim or defence to ensure the best chance of success, to representing you in adjudication, arbitration or mediation, or providing litigation support to your solicitor or one of the many solicitors we have close working relationships with.
We encourage your own team to carry out any part of the process under our supervision in order to save you costs.
All members of our team can act as adjudicators, arbitrators, mediators or provide expert determination services and we will have the right person for your next Expert Witness appointment.
Training & Events
Whatever the economic climate, it is critically important that your team is functioning at its highest potential and equipped with the skills necessary to carry out their job properly and efficiently and to maximise your profit.
We provide tailored, high quality training on a variety of topics at your offices or any other location; we focus on the practical application of the knowledge to your real world problems rather than dwell on theory.
Our directors have extensive experience having delivered hundreds of seminars between them both locally and internationally regularly receiving ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’ feedback from delegates.
Recent feedback comments include:
“A complicated topic made easy”
“Anecdotal explanations helped me understand the contract”
“Easy to understand and an approachable style”
“An excellent, well presented seminar”
For details of upcoming seminars, please click here. If a particular seminar is not listed, please contact us as new seminars are being developed regularly.