Construction Law/EOT


QUESTION: Dear Mr. Peter M. Elliott,

We are a mechanical subcontractor in Singapore and our work has been delayed due to the reason not attributable to us.  We have asked our Main contractor for EOT but Main contractor did not accept our claim since there is no EOT clause in our Subcontract Agreement. (our contract is very simple one not using international forms of contract)

Please teach me how we can reply to this Main contractor?

Best regards,

ANSWER: Dear Kaz,

It is very unusual for a modern contract not to include provision for an EoT, especially due to the Employer's Risks.  The reason is clear.  If there is no provision for an EoT, then time can become at large, which means basically, the contract has to be finished in a reasonable time.  

I presume that the delay is due to your employer and that you wish to avoid delay damages.  If there are no delay damages, then there is no real point in an EoT.  You might find the following web sites of use:-

Atkinson is always good value and worth reading.  The others are more lightweight.  There are other sites if you google 'time at large' or 'construction no extension of time clause'

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Mr. Peter M. Elliott,

Thank you for your answer.
We know that we should have had a provision for an EOT.
But, we could't persuade our Main contractor to include the provision.

Yes, delay is due to our Main Contractor.
Now what we want is that:
1. To get EOT and avoid liquidated damage.
2. To get additional time related cost to be incurred during prolongation period.

Can we tell our main contractor that:

1) time will become at large as there is no EOT clause in our agreement. therefore, liquidated damage is not applicable.
2) any resultant delay could result in us requiring reimbursement for additional time related costs incurred.

Best regards,

Dear Kaz,

Yes, you could do that, but it might not be the most cost effective action.  I suggest that you get someone to discuss the problem with the Contractor in a non-confrontational manner, even if it is at your cost.  It would be cheaper in the long run.  

There is no benefit in a prolonged legal battle.  You might consider having a discussion with a member of the DRBF,  There are several excellent members in Australia who could give you practical advice and mediate the situation with the Main Contractor.  You do not want to arrive in a similar situation to that of Cleveland Bridge in the case of Multiplex v. Cleveland Bridge over Wembley Stadium.

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Peter M. Elliott


First response to queries regarding extensions of time, variations orders, site instructions and payment using FIDIC and other forms of Conditions of Contract, based on English Law, and derivatives only. Anyone who needs advice about EoT should download and study the SCL Delay & Disruption Protocol before submitting a question.


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