Construction Law/Notice Requirements


Conditions of Contract: FIDIC MDB Harmonized Edition 2010

Dear Sir,

I would like to ask whether or not the timebar requirement for Notice of claim to be issued by the Contractor within 28 days after he became aware or should have become aware under GCC Sub-clause 20.1 of aforementioned form of Contract discharges the Employer of all the liabilities (including very much possible claims of the Contractor)?

Does merely non-giving of a Notice within 28 days deprives the Contractor of his fair right?

I am working with a Contractor and we have written several letters describing the event but none of them constituted a "Notice" to the Engineer. Would such correspondence be of any use in terms of Notice?


Dear Arslan,

When I am appointed as the Engineer, I rarely reject a claim due to time bar, especially if the claim is based on an act or omission by the Employer.  There are so many uncertainties in the writing of clause 20.1.  It is a pity that the MDB's have not modified the clause to match the version given in the gold book.  

You could look at the principle of prevention by the Employer.  There are lots of cases and papers in both common law and civil law jurisdictions.  In Sharia law you have the principle of unfair enrichment, but you have to follow that through the courts.  I would make it a point to include the phrase 'in accordance with clause 20.1 I reserve the right to claim reimbursement of extra costs or an extension of time due to the following:-' in all relevant letters.  You can always withdraw the statement, but at least you are never time barred.  You could try giving your formal notice now and justification based on the assumption that the Engineer would treat the matter fairly and thus you did not realise that you would have extra expense.  It might not be acceptable, but it will muddy the waters.  

Construction Law

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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

©2016 All rights reserved.