Given that construction projects often involve various stages over a significant period of time, it is important for the parties to record their rights and obligations by way of appropriately detailed contracts and project documentation.
A comprehensive contract and/or other project documentation will often result in the parties being able to avoid litigation or reduce the length and costs of a dispute. In contrast, substandard documentation may prolong disputes by enabling one party to make claims that were not intended by the parties when entering into an agreement, particularly if that party is under a misapprehension as to the parties’ original intentions or agreement.
Construction contracts and project documentation include specific clauses particular to the construction industry that may relate to claimable costs, extensions of time, processes for making price adjustments, risk management etc.
Many complex contracts, including standard form building contracts, are drafted to include fixed or “boilerplate” clauses. However, the parties are able to tailor these contracts to primarily consist of their particular circumstances using special conditions provided for in the contract. It is important to ensure that these special conditions are drafted appropriately.
The potential risk of dispute is increased when clients do not seek legal assistance in drafting such special conditions, including drafting by one of the parties or by a non-solicitor agent such as a real estate agent. This can lead to uncertainty in the contract as to the rights and obligations of the parties and increase the costs of resolving such a dispute.
Parties may also be unaware of the significance of a special condition, particularly when it is difficult to understand how it interacts with the body of the contract.
- considering the commercial objectives of the parties and circumstances of the project to ensure that appropriate special conditions are included in the contract within that commercial framework;
- advising the client as to the interaction between the special conditions and the body of the contract to inform the client as to its legal obligations under the contract; and
- representing clients in relation to disputes involving alleged breaches of special conditions.
Rowe Bristol Lawyers is experienced at providing legal advice and services in relation to construction contracts and other project documentation, including:
- negotiation of contractual clauses that ought to be proposed by the client to protect its interests;
- interpretation of clauses proposed by the other parties and the potential effects on the client’s interests; and
- drafting contents of project documentation that would provide a suitable framework for the management of the relevant project; and
- identification and management of risks likely to be applicable throughout the life of the project and beyond.
If you require legal advice in relation to construction contracts and project documentation, please contact us to arrange a meeting so that we may consider your specific circumstances.
The above information is provided as general information only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. The accuracy of this information may have changed from the date when it was published.