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Construction Law/Change in Law or Code


Dear Sir

Our Contract states: "The contract price shall not be amended due to change in rates of wages or shall be modified due to decrease in exchange rate or difference in rates of materials, consumables, fuel or energy or change in shipping, insurance or custom duties or due to application of a law, legislation or constitution"

My question is; we now are encountering an issue  regarding the issuance of a new technical code Re; (the insulation factor of a building) by the local governmental organisation of codes and standards.This new code has been issued after the first submission date of the tender by the Contractor and right before awarding the job to him. Now, does the Contractor deserve a variation if applying the new code on  the design which is to be performed by him (the project is Design-Build) OR we can use the above clause  to defend ourselves against his request? i.e. a new code could be considered as a change in laws or legislation or not?

Thank you

Dear Khaled,

Thank you for your question.

I am uncertain what kind of Conditions of Contract you're using, nor the eventual implications of the local law.

By all means, the new code is a change in legislation, but the contract provision that you indicate, seems to exclude any price revision for that reason - again, I am unaware of the rest of the context, which may change things.

I would suggest you also check with a local lawyer, as depending on actual effect induced by the new code, that provision may be render the Contract onerous and hence, that provision may become null and void under the law.

In general such harsh conditions may be seen in court as unreasonable and although you would be right under the Contract, under the law, the Contractor may have his rights protected.

I hope that analysis will help and guide you toward where you should look for getting a definite answer - Law of the Country.

Good luck!  

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Questions related to Civil Engineering Contracts, using FIDIC or other Conditions of Contract, concerning Procurement procedures and documents (pre-qualification, tendering and contracting) and Services/ Works Contracts implementation matters including Determinations, Payments, Time Extensions, VOs, Claims/Disputes. Additionally, questions related to dealing with International Financing Institutions. Can also answer questions in Romanian. Can not answer improperly formulated questions.


Over 20 years of experience in the field of design, works supervision, construction, management of aid funds and technical assistance for various types of contracts implementation, including severe conflictual contractual situations leading to Claims and disputes. Claims/ Contract management, Disputes adjudication, Arbitration.

Member of Romanian Professional Association of Roads and Bridges; Listed on President's List of Adjudicators of Romanian Association of Consulting Engineers Former member of the Disputes Resolution Board Foundation (DRBF) of United States – nominee on DRBF President’s Disputes Board Members List and of DRBF Chapter for Eastern Europe Former member of Polish Association of Consulting Engineers (SIDiR) – nominee on SIDiR President’s Disputes Board Members National List Member of “” volunteers pool Member of the "Constructions Disputes Resolution Services” International Panel of Construction ADR Specialists" of United States

- Graduate in 1994 the Construction Institute - Graduate of several FIDIC,Procurement and other courses - Graduate of first Disputes Board Members Mentoring Scheme ( - FIDIC Accredited Adjudicator

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