Construction Law Advice

Advice Regarding Appropriate Construction Contracts

As attorneys specialising in construction law, we provide advice regarding construction contracts. Indeed, many disputes arise because of ambiguities in building agreements. This also pertains to international construction agreements. We provide advice regarding appropriate clauses, wording, and terms and conditions, and what to do in terms of a breach of contract, non-performance, and non-payment.

We strongly recommend making use of our advice regarding construction law before signing a building agreement. Because we work with international construction agreements, we are also able to provide relevant advice regarding such. Our attorneys are familiar with and offer FIDIC and NEC3 contract assistance.


This is the French acronym for Fédération Internationale Des Ingénieurs-Conseil, referring to the international federation for consulting engineers. FIDIC has members from well over 58 countries in the world and has gained international acceptance for the production of standard construction and engineering contracts. We recommend seeking our advice regarding the wording of the contracts, as construction law is a complex field of law.

FIDIC contracts are widely used, and as a concerted effort along with the International Federation of Building and Public Works, their contracts have been updated through the years to ensure widespread applicability. Indeed, today, FIDIC contracts are the leading types of contracts used for international construction projects. Should you be unsure about any of the terms and clauses or formats of the FIDIC contracts, it is best to seek advice to help avoid misunderstandings regarding such.

FIDIC contracts have been developed over a period of five decades and are considered the benchmark contracts for the construction and engineering consulting industries. The balance of the roles and obligations of parties to the contract are noteworthy. The FIDIC contracts are well balanced to ensure fairness to all parties to the construction agreements.

One of the main principles of the FIDIC contracts is that of suitability for various projects, which is evident in the widespread adoption and usage of the General Conditions of Contract, which have been used by thousands of contractors and companies across the globe.

However, since every construction or engineering project is unique, the specific issues related to a particular project must also be addressed in the agreement. Here too you will benefit from our expertise in construction law. FIDIC contracts come with relevant guidance for the drafting of the particular conditions for a specific construction or engineering project. By understanding the importance of adhering as close as possible to the conditions of the FIDIC contracts, our attorneys in construction law will provide you with advice regarding when it is suitable to diverge from the special provisions in the Particular Conditions.

It has been noted that the more one tampers with the balance of risk sharing, the higher the risks of disputes become. It has also been noted that changing the balance of risk sharing so inherent in the FIDIC contracts often leads to delays in projects, higher prices, and even contract terminations.

Certain clauses should not be changed, such as the role of the engineer regarding the inspection of work, certificate issuing, and monitoring of the contractor’s performance. Where the engineer is excessively limited regarding his/her ability to make decisions, the risk of disputes and delayed projects increases.

NEC3 Contracts

Our team of construction law attorneys are also familiar with NEC3 contracts and as such are able to assist in drafting the contracts, reviewing such, and arbitrating disputes that arise from the contracts. NEC is also a family of construction and project management related contracts that is widely used.

NEC produces various project management contracts, which help to ensure on-time delivery of projects within the budget scope of the client and according to high standards. The NEC3 suite of contracts includes contracts for procurement of employment, services, and products, whether in the public or private sector, and regardless of the stage of project management. Every contract comes with guidance regarding procedures to follow. The short NEC3 contracts are available in three main categories, namely works, supply, and services.

Works relate to procurement, such as construction or decommissioning of structures, regardless of type and size. The service contracts relate to procurement of services from project managers, surveyors, architects, and engineers. Supply contracts relate to the procurement of high-value items, such as generators and cranes required in construction projects.

Let us help you avoid costly pitfalls regarding construction projects through the provision of appropriate and balanced contracts.

Call us on +27 (011) 234 2125 for advice and assistance with contract law.


Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Call on our attorneys for legal advice, rather than relying on the information herein to make any decisions. The information is relevant to the date of publishing – July 2018.

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