Construction Law/Time saving


Dear John,

My query is related to time saving in contracts.

If my understanding is correct, FIDIC contracts(both 87& 99) does not have a mechanism to reduce time. In a situation where the Employer has made omissions under the Contract which would potentially give some time savings, can the Employer legitimately demand for it including savings in prelimns?.
Could you please clarify the Contractual and legal position on this matter, please?


Dear Riz,

Thank you for this question.

You are correct that the FIDIC contracts do not provide a mechanism for reducing time in the event of a variation of omission for example; however that is not the entire story. when the Engineer is making as assessment of entitlement to extension of time he (or she) will consider all the circumstances; therefore if there has been an omission which would save 50 days and additions that would add 75 days the Engineer can take all matters into account and (assuming the mathematics is simple) an extension of 25 days would be appropriate.

The Engineer is not entitled to reduce a previous award of extension of time but can take a previous over assessment into account when next considering entitlement. So assuming that the Engineer had mistakenly awarded 30 days when only 25 was due, when the Contractor next makes a claim for additional time the Engineer can take into account the benefit that the contractor had from the earlier over-assessment.

As preliminaries are often time related the Engineer would be wrong to insist upon a reduction for an omission; however of the preliminaries are purely method related (for example a mobile crane was needed only for the omitted work and was included within the preliminaries) the Engineer would be justified in requesting a reduction of those method related charges.

I hope that this assists you.

Kind regards,
John Dowse

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John Dowse


Legal; contract interpretation; quantum; delay analysis. Practitioner in arbitration, adjudication and mediation.


Thirty-three (33) years experience in building and construction, at all levels both within contracting and consulting organisations. Practising arbitrator, adjudicator, and mediator. Faculty approved trainer for the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Lecturer on construction contract forms and dispute resolution practices.

Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Institute of Directors Society of Construction Arbitrators

Various UK and International construction and legal publications.

LLB (Hons), Pg Dip (Legal Practice), MCInstCES MCIArb MIOD Barrister

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