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Construction Law/Disruption costs and Time Schedule/float


Dear Mr. Peter

If a Contractor claims for disruption costs (which is allowed for in the contract) which he has already incurred due to interruption happened to his equipment and man-power and stopped his work on site and such interruption is attributable to the Employer, logically, legally and practically, shall he be entitled to this claim in the following cases:
1- Checking the Base-line time Schedule, I found out that the early start date of the activity interrupted has not come yet?
2- The early start date has come but there is some float in this activity? i.e. Who has the right to make use of the float time, Employer or Contractor?

I am the Engineer CA and i need your reply for the both cases please.

Thank you Sir

Dear Khaled,

Difficult questions and the jury is divided.  As always the Contractor has to prove his case.  Disruption cases are always difficult, unless the contractor has really really good paperwork.  

1.  You seem to imply that the Contractor had started the activity early.  We are not talking about an EoT but extra costs arising out of disruption due to the Employer's actions or inactions.  The fact that the work has started earlier than expected by the Base-line Time Schedule is irrelevant.  

2. The general view now is that float belongs to the project and it is a case of first come first served.  

There is a good paper published by the Society of Construction Law on the costs of delay and disruption if you google 'construction cost of delay and disruption'  

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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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