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Construction Law/Sub contractor payment


Dear Mr Peter,

I'm working as a MEP QS, under a MEP subcontractor. The governing document is FIDIC 99, but in our contract agreement with the main contractor, there is a clause stipulating that the payment to the subcontractor is "back to back" method. In the case of delaying our payment, main contractor always reply saying the delays has occurred due to the back to back payment method.
Are we (subcontractor) entitle to receive the finance charges for the delayed payment as per the clause 14.8 (delayed payment)

Dear Piyadasun,

I hate 'pay when paid' clauses.  In fact they are illegal in UK for construction contracts.  If the contracts are truly back to back, then the Main Contractor can claim finance charges due to delayed payments, which would include your finance charges due to delayed payment.  If the main contractor does not want to submit a claim, that is his problem, but does not revoke your entitlement.  I suggest that you submit a claim on the basis of back to back and see what his response is.

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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.


Value . . .
It's unwise to pay too much, but it's unwise to pay too little. When you pay too much you lose a little money, that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing you bought it to do.
The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot. It can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it's well to add something for the risk you run.
And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better.
. . . John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)
"We are too poor to buy something cheap"
.Romanian Proverb 2002
A lean compromise is better than a fat lawsuit. George Herbert (English poet 1593-1633)
I said it in Hebrew, I said it in Dutch,
I said it in German and Greek:
But I wholly forgot (and it vexes me much)
That English is what you speak!" Hunting of the Snark - Lewis Caroll
Match your presentation to the reader!
The joy of food lasts but an hour, of sleep but a day, of a woman, but a month, but the joy of a building lasts a lifetime. Syrian proverb.
Comments and observations leading to improvements in the translation of FIDIC Red & Yellow books into Romanian prior to approval by FIDIC (reference 'Preface to the Romanian edition')

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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