Posts by Ask the team

  • Ask the team: is it safe to use correspondence as a contract document?

    As the employer and contractor on a construction and engineering project get ever closer to concluding negotiations and signing their building contract, they are often settling technical details of design or specification. Typically, they do so by e-mails, or perhaps minuted meetings. Should those emails or minutes form part of the final contract?

  • Ask the team: can I issue contracts with electronic copies of drawings?

    The documents included in a building contract can be voluminous. In particular, the works may be described in numerous technical drawings, each of which is large and expensive to reproduce. Can parties save time and money by inserting electronic copies into a building contract, perhaps saved onto a CD-ROM?

  • Ask the team: is the Scheme missing some payment terms?

    My client, a sub-contractor, is working under an oral construction contract and wants to get paid. I know that the Scheme for Construction Contracts 1998 applies, but reading the Scheme by itself leaves me with unanswered questions about the payment process. What am I missing?

  • Ask the team: does my contract need a priority of documents clause?

    Some forms of contract include a priority of documents clause, others do without them. So what is the correct approach? Should your building contract, sub-contract or professional appointment include a priority of documents clause? Does the recent TCC decision in RWE Npower Renewables v J N Bentley have anything to add?

  • Ask the team: Can I start an adjudication, stop and then start again?

    Subscribers have recently asked two related questions about starting an adjudication: What should the referring party do if it thinks it will miss the deadline for serving the referral notice? Can a referring party start an adjudication, then stop and start the process over again? Does this also apply to the responding party?

  • Ask the team: why use Part 8 in adjudication?

    Why would I want to use CPR Part 8 in adjudication? While I know that the Technology and Construction Court (TCC) has supported its use, doesn’t it just take extra time and cost more money?

  • Ask the team: What are provisional sums?

    Provisional sums are a mystery to many construction and engineering lawyers, often thought of as the domain of quantity surveyors, rather than legal advisers. In fact, a building contract’s treatment of provisional sums can have a profound impact on the overall cost and speed of a project.

  • Ask the Team: Deducting LADs after a contractor goes into administration

    PLC Construction recently received an enquiry about an employer’s ability to deduct liquidated and ascertained damages (LADs) for delay under a demand issued after the contractor had gone into administration. Could the employer set-off its demand for LADs under the Insolvency Rules?

  • Ask the Team: Who is a building owner under the Party Walls etc. Act 1996?

    PLC Construction has introduced a new regular feature: “Ask the Team”. This will be based on questions you have asked. We edit the questions and answers, where appropriate, to maintain anonymity. Our first Ask the Team suggests an answer to the question “who is a building owner under the Party Walls etc Act 1996?”