It isn’t always the contractor that causes issues on completion, but when it is a contractor’s default or fault that affects completion, seasoned contractors can leverage quite a strong bargaining position unless action is take to prevent spurious claims and defenses.
If a contractor has spent time during construction ‘reserving its position’ in terms of Extension of Time and Variation claims, then an employer should ensure it is prepared with the correct evidential and report style documents, correct approach to the interpretation of the contract and any statutory provisions.
If the contractor has prepared itself for a dispute at the end of the process and to contest any deductions from the performance bond, and yet further to claim additional costs due to variations, then it will also be ready for the dispute resolution procedures in the agreement.
Therefore, in order to prevent or mitigate games or protracted dispute provoking processes, an early settlement meeting was proposed by Hughes Krupica. First, Hughes Krupica ensured we were well armed with our documents and ensured the contractor could see that if it did push to instigate formal dispute procedures that we were ready for that and prepared to argue our case.
The contractor softened its stance considerably and we eventually reached a compromise. The contractor at that time also had other works and projects to manage and therefore it was also relieved that the process was concluded quickly even if not as it had envisaged.
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