Construction Law/Notice to Claim


Dear Sir!

I am working under FIDIC Conditions of Contract EPC/Turnkey Projects 1999. My question is If a contractor writes a sentence in a letter addressed to the Employer that "as your instruction is extra contractual, we reserve our rights to claim the additional quantity becasuse of your instruction". Shall this sentence be treated as a notice to claim under clause 20.1? just for example the contract says to provide 6.0m wide road and the Employer instructs 6.1m wide road.

Dear Ishaq Bhatti,

The Employer has changed the rules and thus cannot avoid his responsibilities through a technicality.  

I would interpret the phrase as compliant, but as the Contractor I would always include the phrase 'in accordance with clause 20.1, I ...'.  I include this phrase to be sure that my claim has a contractual basis.  As the Employer's Representative, I would acknowledge receipt of the letter and include the following phrase 'I understand that you wish to make a claim for reimbursement of extra costs or an extension of the time for completion in accordance with clause 20.1.  Therefore, I expect full details of your claim by ....'.  Alternatively, I would include a phrase reminding the Contractor of the requirements of clause 20.1 regarding its time bar.'  You do not want to get into an argument about unfair enrichment, not do you want to be accused by an arbitrator or judge of being unhelpful.  

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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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Institution of Civil Engineers, Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants, Society of Construction Law, Dispute Resolution Board Foundation

B Sc(Hons) in Civil Engineering

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