Fourth International Construction Law Conference

(MELBOURNE, 6 – 8 MAY 2012)

FOURTH INTERNATIONAL CONSTRUCTION LAW CONFERENCE
MELBOURNE, 6 – 8 MAY 2012
“CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTATION PREPARATION – PROTECTING THE PRINCIPAL WITHOUT BEING UNFAIR TO THE CONTRACTOR”
DEREK S FIRTH
COMMERCIAL BARRISTER, CHARTERED ARBITRATOR AND ADJUDICATOR
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND
ABSTRACT
Many project construction disputes have their origin in:
 inadequate initial design;
 Principals adding Special Conditions which are unnecessarily draconian and grossly unfair to the contractor; or
 the contractor, when tendering, introducing clever tags or amendments designed to enable the contractor to:
(a) recover for underbidding;
(b) switch all or part of the works onto a “cost plus” basis in circumstances when that would not normally be permitted to happen;
(c) in other ways, lay the ground for a “claims based” mentality.
It has become fashionable to endeavour to soften the impact of these tensions through concepts such as partnering, alliancing and sharing in cost savings, whereas a well-drawn contract which correctly and clearly identifies the respective risks taken by the parties may be adequate or even better placed to achieve the same objective.
The thrust of the paper is to identify these common causes of disputes and how to anticipate and address them in the contract in a constructive manner.
The paper includes a number of suggestions and describes the manner in which they have worked in practice and can work alongside the better-known standard forms of contract.

For a full copy of the pdf file, click here.

For any further enquiries on construction law, contact Marcus Beveridge on marcus@queencitylaw.co.nz or 0274 877 332.