Contracts Management

Construction claims and dispute resolution related services include review of the various construction documentation with regards to entitlement and/or quantum justification. It also involves identifying of various risks involved, pursuing dispute avoidance strategies and/or concluding the appropriate recourse for the resolution of disputes. Some of the services extended have been elaborated below.


Tender Documents Review and Appraisal

Review of tender documents is one of the most important but perhaps also the most underestimated aspect of a bidding exercise. The same often leads to a lot of insufficient and/or underestimated offers by the contractors or potential reasons for dispute during the project execution. Award of a contract is usually nothing but acceptance of the tenderer’s offer.As such, any mistake or overlook during the tender stage cannot be subsequently rectified. The services provided under this section include review of contractual provisions under the concerned tendering exercise, preparation of tender appraisal report, demarcation of tenderer’s responsibilities and liabilities, identifying the explicit and implicit risks involved and advising corresponding mitigation measures or qualifications to ensure that the tenderer’s interests are protected.


Establishing Contract Administration Framework

Every contract is unique. However, the administrative framework for addressing the various contractual provisions could be standardized (to a substantial extent) for the benefit of the professionals involved. These frameworks include contract appraisal forms, risk identification and mitigation forms, time and cost notification schedules for contractors, notice of delays, schedule for monitoring and closure of potential variation claims and delay notifications and the like. Once a robust administrative framework is imbibed in the organization’s contract management, potential disagreements or disputes could be identified and/or acted upon well in advance. The same will also provide the organization with much better bargaining leverage should the dispute reach a negotiation table. This is especially so when compared to the situation when the contract is not adequately administered.


Contracts Documents Review and Appraisal

Upon award of contract, review of the contract documents and ensuring that the same is in line with the contractor’s offer is crucial for commercial success. A lot of disagreements and/or disputes could be avoided if due diligence is practiced before execution of the contract. The services provided under this section include review of the draft contract documents issued by the bidder and comparing the same with the offer and ensuring that the contract documents reflect the offer in letter and spirit. The various notifications and submissions stipulated under the contract are also identified and summarized to ensure compliance with the same.

Change Management

Changes to the contract inevitably happen. These changes may be related to a change in the scope of works, a material delay in the scope of works, a force-majeure event, termination by convenience or by default, bankruptcy of either of the contracting parties, cancellation of the project by the employer and the like.The adverse implications (if any) of such unforeseen material changes may be reduced by developing comprehensive strategies to address the same by considering relevant commercial and contractual aspects. Needless to highlight, such strategies might also be instrumental in converting apparent prima-facie adversities into opportunities.


Mastering Claims: Preparation, Evaluation, Defense

Even though the parties always strive to avoid disputes and reach amicable settlements for the various disagreements that might inadvertently creep in a project environment, there are situations where one must either prepare or rebut a cost and/or time related claim.Each claim is unique thereby mandating a corresponding unique response. Based on the extent of documentation to be reviewed and objectives to be achieved, we provide specifically customized consulting services to ensure cost effective and efficient solutions in mitigating the underlying risks and/or harnessing the opportunities.


Programme and Delay Analysis

Due to various uncertainties that are invariably involved in a construction project, many contentious arguments pertaining to the culpability for delays are bound to arise. We assist contractors in the preparation of baseline programme in compliance with the contract conditions,delay schedules to ensure timely notifications and follow-up with the submission of extension of time for completion and/or the corresponding cost claims. The same is imperative to mitigate the risk of exposure to liquidated damages by the employer/main contractor as also the contractor to maintain their right for prolongation and/or acceleration claims (if any).


Back-charges and Liquidated Damages

Sometimes towards the end of the contract duration, especially once the physical works are completed the contractors are faced with substantial back-charges are liquidated damages. These aspects are relied upon to negotiate the contractor's outstanding variation and loss & expense claims. As such, the downstream contractors need to be alert to these issues and attempt to mitigate the same by anticipating potential defences. Based on our experience and exposure to similar back-charges and delay related damages, we extend contract advisory services to mitigate the related risks. Needless to emphasise, even if parties are confident of reaching a commercial settlement based on the existing relationships, they should concurrently be prepared for the unfortunate possibility of the potential dispute remaining unresolved and being triggered into full blown legal fight. In such cases, the contemporary records could be a game-changer. Furthermore, once both parties are better prepared and are aware of the facts and arguments relied upon by either party, the odds of amicable settlement is generally higher.

Commercial Management

Commercial management related services involves establishing standard procedures for effective cost monitoring and control, notification and monitoring of variation claims, submission of progress claims, certifications of progress claims, financial analysis (cost benefit ratio, life cycle costing) for aiding commercial decision-making exercise. Our services also involve reviewing existing commercial procedures and systems in the project or company and streamlining the same in accordance with the company’s policies and objectives.


Setting-up of Commercial Administration Procedures upon Project Commencement

The initial stage of any project is very crucial with regards to establishing the correct systems and protocols for addressing the various commercial and contract management aspects. But due to resources mobilization issues plaguing the initial phases of projects, contract and commercial management is often neglected in this crucial phase. The services provided under this stream include secondment of professionals to review and establish the commercial procedures in line with the organization’s objectives and contract requirements. Once the systems have been streamlined and fine-tuned, the project’s commercial stakeholders could take over the same for the rest of the project life cycle. We may also provide intermittent auditing services to ensure adherence and continual improvement of the various procedures.


Establishing Cost Monitoring and Control Framework

The services provided include review of existing company/project procedures to identify the cost centers together with the corresponding monitoring procedures (if any), hold review meetings with the various stakeholders, implement company and/or project wide cost monitoring systems, streamline the same with the revenue generation centers (to the extent reasonably possible), continually monitor, and improve the system until all the management objectives are met. The entire framework is eventually documented and handed over to the stakeholders for onward adherence and continual improvement.


Codification and Implementation of Standard Operating Procedures

Companies are but a group of people working towards a common goal with systems and procedures that have evolved along the way. The procedures and the systems are invaluable assets that must be well documented and assimilated across the length and breadth of the organization to ensure strict compliance and continual improvement by periodic review. The same also helps to implement a system centric and scalable management model integrating various strengths and mitigating weaknesses, across the organization. Our consultants are experienced in identifying, codifying and implementing procedures to achieve the organizational objectives in a time-bound manner.

Dispute Resolution Services


Adjudication under Security of Payment Act

With explicit intention to safeguard the contractors’ cash flow concerns, various jurisdictions have implemented security of payment acts to facilitate expeditious adjudication of disagreements pertaining to progress claims under construction projects. We assist contractors and employers in the preparation of adjudication applications and rebuttals of the same respectively, under the applicable adjudication regime. We assist employers and contractors to identify and implement critical procedures to ensure compliance with the act, especially in the context of the SOP Act, Singapore.


Mediation (formal), Arbitration and Litigation

Various contracts provide different dispute resolution measures which may be pursued by the parties concerned to reach binding determinations of their disputes. The selection of the appropriate measure depends upon the applicable terms and conditions as also the material aspects of the dispute in question. Notwithstanding the potential advantages and disadvantages of the individual measure concerned, the probability of a favorable outcome depends substantially on how well the dispute is presented with reference to relevant contemporary records. We assist employers and contractors to review the relevant documentation, compile claim documents and coordinate with the lawyers on the functional (technical, commercial and contractual) aspects.