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Construction Law/Claim and proceed work on site


Dear Mr. Femi Alofe,

I am Contractor of one project in Vietnam. My project use Red book Fidic 1999. In my project, the drawing has many changing. But the engineer didn't issue to us Engineer Instruction (EI). He send to us new drawing by transmital form, by technical meeting, by email or by verbal. Follow Particular Condition of Contract, the Contractor must send Claim of letter (NOC) not later than 14 days of the event.

I am worrying, the contractor was doing the work on site without approved variation order.

I want ask question:

- Can the contractor stop procurement/ do the variation work until the Engineer approve variation work?

- Can the contractor told " the starting date of variation work is approved variation date" ?

- Can the contractor stop procurement/ do the variation work until the Engineer issue EI?

I amd feeling risk of the Contractor in this case.

Have a nice weekend.

Thanks you in advance

Dear Dominich,

Thanks for your question.

While the best practice is to ensure that, all site instructions or Engineer's instructions are issued in writing, there are, however, the FIDIC 199 Red book recognises the fact that, there could be cases where verbal (oral) instructions may be given and has provided for ways and manner in which they can be formalised or confirmed for affirmative, valid and undoubtful reasons. One of such ways is for you to put down the instructions you receive into writing to the Engineers citing the date, the instance / source (during site meeting or site inspections or RFIs and new revised drawings and transmittals) and brief description of your understanding of the description of what is to be done in complying with the instruction and asking the Engineer (as per Clause 3.3 of the FIDIC 1999Red book) to confirm your understanding and the instruction within 2 working days otherwise you will proceed with compliance and any additional cost and or time incurred / suffered would be submitted for compensation accordingly.

You can still write the letter but i would not advise you to stop the compliance with the instruction. You must know that Contractually and according to the knowledge we have in Construction law, Engineer's instruction can either be issued expressly or construed as been issued vide other means like drawings, RFI's clarifications, responses to letters, approvals and Engineer's comments in minutes of site meeting and so on. These are implied Engineer's instruction.

I am sure, this advice will help you.


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Femi Alofe


I can answer all questions relating to the followings: 1. Contract Administration - variations, contract clauses interpretation, all post contract procedures, valuations and certificates questions, extension of time issues and prolongation cost matters. 2. Contract Practice - Any questions regarding forms of contract like JCT, FIDIC & other Bespoke forms. 3. Quantification, measurements and Estimating questions 4. Contracts and construction law questions and dispute resolutions problems. 5. All FIDIC Conditions of contracts


Out of my 24 years experience in construction industry, i have the following specific experience: 1. Contract Administration - 15 years in contract administration with over 10yrs in Managerial positions covering africa and the middleeast. 2. Contract Practice - 15 years experience with over 10yrs in Managerial and expert positions covering africa, north america and the middleeast. 3. All pre-contract procedures, Tendering, Quantification, measurements and Estimating questions - 20 years experience. 4. Contracts and construction law questions and dispute resolutions problems - 15 years experience with over 10yrs in Managerial and expert positions and 5 years expert witness and active practice in arbitration proceedings covering africa and the middleeast.

1. FAIQS - Fellow, Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, Australia 2. FRICS - Fellow, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, UK 3. CCP - Certified Cost Professional AACEI, USA 4. PQS - CIQS, CANADA 5. ACIArb. - CIArb, UK 6. MNIQS - NIQS, NIGERIA 7. RQS - QSRBN, NIGERIA

1. AACEI RP on Estimating, 2010

1. B.Tech (QS) 2. RICS professional course, CEM - UK 3. MSc , UK NARIC 4. Professional Doctorate ( to commence 2016)

Past/Present Clients
1. Larsen & Toubro Ltd, Dubai UAE 2. Larsen & Toubro (oman) LLC 3. Archi + Web consortium, Abuja Nigeria 4. George Dike & Associates, Minna Nigeria 5. Public works Authority (Ashghal), Doha Qatar

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