50 Contractual Nightmares & Their Resolutions

Organiser: Simply Seminars
Location: Daresbury Park Hotel, Daresbury Cheshire
Phone: 01565 777234

Roger Knowles presents 50 Contractual Nightmares & Their Resolutions.

A one-day seminar.

Delegates may attend the morning or afternoon sessions or the full day.



1. What is the difference between fitness for purpose and reasonable skill and care?

2. Who is responsible for design co-ordination where design is undertaken by the Architect/ Engineer/ Project Manager- the contractor and some subcontractors?

3. Does the contractor/ subcontractor escape liability for errors in his/ her drawings if they are approved by the Architect/ Engineer/ Project Manager?

4. What safeguards should a designer put in place where a new product is specified to avoid liability for subsequent product failure?

5. Must a contractor/ subcontractor draw attention to errors in the Architect/ Engineer/ Project Manager's drawings?


6. Where a contractor/ subcontractor submits a tender as requested which is ignored, does he/ she have any rights?

7. What liability does an employer have for subsoil reports which are inaccurate or misleading?

Letters of Intent

8. Is it advisable for a contractor/ subcontractor to start work on receipt of a letter of intent or should he/ she do nothing without a contract?

9. How much is a contractor/ subcontractor entitled to be paid if, having started work on receipt of a letter of intent, the employer issues a stop work notice?

10. How vulnerable is a contractor/ subcontractor who exceeds the financial cap in a letter of intent?

11. Can a letter of intent ever be a contract?

Extensions of Time

12. Does the lack of a written notice lose a contractor/ subcontractor an entitlement to an extension of time?

13. What is meant by force majeure?

14. How should excessively adverse conditions be measured?

15. What is meant by "time at large"?

16. Must a contractor follow the contract programme?

17. Can a contractor amend the contract programme without the Architect/ Engineer/ Project Manager's approval?

18. Must an Architect/ Engineer/ Project Manager issue drawings to suit the contractor's programme?

19. Can an employer force a contractor/ subcontractor to accelerate the work when progress is falling behind?

20. What is constructive acceleration and when should it apply?

Liquidated Damages

21. What is the difference between liquidated damages and a penalty?

22. Is an employer entitled to recover liquidated damages if no loss is suffered?

23. Are liquidated damages expressed as a percentage of the contract sum enforceable?

24. Can a contractor pass the main contract liquidated damages down to a subcontractor where they are out of proportion to the subcontract sum?

25. What procedure must an employer follow to avoid losing the right to deduct liquidated damages following late completion?


Loss and Expense/ Additional Cost Claims

26. Does the lack of a written notice lose a contractor / subcontractor an entitlement to the payment of loss and expense/ additional cost claims?

27. What is a global claim and is it valid?

28. What is a total cost claim?

29. What are the most effective methods of evaluating disruption?

30. When levying a claim, can a contractor recover head office overhead contributions?

31. Can a contractor recover the cost of preparing a claim?


32. Can a contractor/ subcontractor legitimately refuse to commence work until a satisfactory bank and trade reference is provided?

33. Where a guaranteed maximum price (GMP) applies, is it possible for a contractor to insist that it be increased after work has started?

34. Where a Target Price contract is used, what are the circumstances whereby it can be adjusted and what is the procedure?

35. How vulnerable are employers, contractors/ subcontractors to retention of title clauses in suppliers' contracts?

36. Who is responsible for the cost of damage to a subcontractor's work by person or persons unknown?

37. What is the financial effect of stage or milestone payments when delays occur?

38. Can a contractor or subcontractor stop work if not paid?

39. Are pay-when-paid clauses now completely outlawed? What about pay-when-certified?

40. Can a contractor/ subcontractor be held to a low rate if the quantities substantially increase?

41. How can a change in character or conditions affect contract rates?

42. Can a QS refuse to include work which has been signed off by an Architect/ Engineer in a valuation day?

43. Is there any advantage to an employer in not providing for retention; what is the main purpose of a retention bond?

44. Can a contractor force an employer to place retention in a separate bank account?

45. What contractual dangers are there for the Employer where the Architect/ Engineer/ Project Manager issues a payment certificate late?

46. What is meant by "payment due date" and "final date for payment"?

47. What is the purpose of a pay less notice and how does it work?

48. Does a full and final settlement agreement rule out any entitlement to payment for an item of work which subsequently comes to light?

49. How does a project bank account (PBA) work and what are its pros and cons?

50. Where money remains unpaid, how effective in helping secure payment is the service of a statutory demand and a threat to apply to the Court for a winding-up petition?


£100 for full day

£60 for morning or afternoon session only

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