Delay, Variation & Defect Claims

Delay, variation and defect claims are the additional costs that may have been incurred by contractors as a result of a delay caused by the principal (person hiring the contractor). These claims are often dealt with in the construction contract, which may provide remedies in circumstances where a delay has been caused directly by the principal. The contract may expressly and specifically envisage agreed damages or delay damages to be paid to the contractor (sometimes done by adjustment of the contract price) so as to compensate the contractor for losses incurred as a result of the delay.

Delays not caused by the principal are addressed separately. In many construction contracts, these are dealt with by allowing an extension of time to complete the construction works. It may be possible for the principal to claim liquidated damages for the delay in completion in a situation where the construction works are still not completed after the extension of time.
In circumstances where the contract fails to address delay/variation/defect damages or costs, it might be possible for the contractor to make a claim via court proceedings. This can quickly become quite complicated and the assistance of an experienced member of the CM Lawyers construction law team may be required.

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