Building disputes – often categorized as construction claims – can be hugely complicated even where there are comparatively small numbers are involved. More often the sums are quite significant, from whichever side you are looking at it.
Construction agreements routinely feature rights and obligations that are not generally found in other commercial environments let alone consumer contracts. Unlike reinsurance claims or shipping disputes, for example, building disputes often touch on the everyday lives of ordinary people and small to medium sized businesses.
Interim certificates, extensions of time, liquidated and ascertained damages, adjudication and many more are matters frequently associated with this type of contract, that the people who find themselves embroiled may never have heard of before and do not understand even after they have signed up to the deal.
Terms may be incorporated by short references to standard conditions published by the Joint Contracts Tribunal (“JCT”) or they may even be implied by law.
Even those who have previously been involved in county court litigation may not be familiar with other dispute resolution processes such as adjudication even though by the terms of the contract they are obliged to use it. It may well be to their advantage to invoke and pursue remedies they are unaware of or don’t understand.
Effective resolution, whether by litigation or other means e.g. mediation, requires an understanding of the issues that are likely to arise in these situations and the practical problems of managing and proving large numbers of detailed allegations about quality of work, pricing of extras, variations etc. etc.
In some situations it may seem a simple matter of downing tools or throwing the men off site but wrongful termination of a contract may lead to significant further liability and expense. Seek advice before you act. Contact Williamsons Solicitors as soon as problems occur or even before you sign the agreement.
Email us or telephone 01460 200450.