Construction Law/construction law


good day! can you kindly please explain the difference between determination and termination of a contract.
the difference between variation claims and fluctuation claims.
explain the contract conditions that empowers the architect to give variation instruction.

Good Day Hannah,

Thank you for selecting me to answer your questions. With reference to determination and termination, my understanding is as follows:

The terms "Determination" and "Termination" of contract are used interchangeably. Generally they both carry the same meaning which is; the contract has been  cancelled, aborted,ended or discontinued due to contributing factors affecting the validity or performance of the contract.
However, the term "termination" is used more frequently, since the term "determination" is ambiguous and sometime causes problems of interpretation.

Variation Claims are claims made by the contractor due to changes within the contract(usually imposed by the employer) which may affect time, cost, quantity and quality, arising from the following issues:

(a)Change in scope of works.
(b)Change in sequencing of works.
(c)Change in positioning of the works.

Fluctuation claims are claims made by the contractor due to increase cost in material, labour, plant, transportation etc. due to increase industry prices or even increased taxes imposed by the statutory body in the country where the contract is executed. This is not considered a variation claim and is usually dealt with in standard forms of contracts as a "risk factor", or "priced separately" or by using cost indices applied to fluctuated prices by an approved formula.

Contract condition which empowers the Architect to issue variation instructions are based on the fact that he or she has the responsibility to deliver the project in compliance with the drawings and specifications provided and to ensure that the product is fit for purpose.If a change in the contract works is required to correct, alter, or modify a particular aspect of the product, the Architect has the autonomy to effect such a change.

However, all standard forms of contract will provide certain guidelines in which the Architect is allowed to issue variations, and the obligation of the contractor to respond accordingly. In addition to this, the procedure for claiming additional or reduction in payments will be stated in the terms and conditions of the contract.

I hope this answers your questions

Best Regards

Kermit Dick  

Construction Law

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All questions pertaining to Construction Law isses, ie, Claims EOT Loss of Profit Variations Damages ADR Delays and disruption Professional Negligence


Certified Arbitrator/ Mediator & Senior Quantity Surveyor Contract manager for Major Construction Firm From 2008 - 2010 Quantity Surveyor for over 16 years dealing with all issues of construction disputes, claims and general contract administration.

Member of CIArb Member of ISTT (Institute of Surveyors of Trinidad & Tobago)

Thesis for Robert Gordon University re: "Professional Negligence in the Construction Industry[20,000 words]" Report for Deakin University "Failures in Slipform Construction [10,000 words]"

LLM in COnstruction Law & Arbitration (Robert Gordon Institute 2010) Graduate Diploma in Quantity Surveying (Deakin University Australia - 2007) Civil Engineering Technician Diploma (John D Institute Trinidad 1995) General Draghting Diploma (S'fdo Tech Inst. Trinidad 1984)

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Distinction in Quantity Surveying via Deakin University (Graduate diploma in Quatity Surveying)

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