Construction Law/Expert Profile

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First response to queries regarding extensions of time, variations orders, site instructions and payment using FIDIC and other forms of Conditions of Contract, based on English Law, and derivatives only. Anyone who needs advice about EoT should download and study the SCL Delay & Disruption Protocol before submitting a question.

Experience in the area

Value . . .
It's unwise to pay too much, but it's unwise to pay too little. When you pay too much you lose a little money, that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing you bought it to do.
The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot. It can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it's well to add something for the risk you run.
And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better.
. . . John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)
"We are too poor to buy something cheap"
.Romanian Proverb 2002
A lean compromise is better than a fat lawsuit. George Herbert (English poet 1593-1633)
I said it in Hebrew, I said it in Dutch,
I said it in German and Greek:
But I wholly forgot (and it vexes me much)
That English is what you speak!" Hunting of the Snark - Lewis Caroll
Match your presentation to the reader!
The joy of food lasts but an hour, of sleep but a day, of a woman, but a month, but the joy of a building lasts a lifetime. Syrian proverb.
Comments and observations leading to improvements in the translation of FIDIC Red & Yellow books into Romanian prior to approval by FIDIC (reference 'Preface to the Romanian edition')


Institution of Civil Engineers, Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants, Society of Construction Law, Dispute Resolution Board Foundation


B Sc(Hons) in Civil Engineering

What do you like about this subject?

There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse cannot make a little cheaper and the people who consider price only are this man?s lawful prey. John Ruskin (1819-1900), British poet, artist

What do you still hope to achieve/learn in this field?

Try reading earlier questions and answers to see if there is anything applicable to your case. It may help you to define the problem more clearly, or even give a solution. Of course, it will take me even longer to be in the expert of the month list, but do I care? I don't suppose I do, if you get a quicker answer.

Something interesting about this subject that others may not know:

To be enforceable, a contract needs five parts:- Offer, Acceptance, Benefit (which does not need to be a cash benefit), Legality and Feasibility. It absolutely does not need to be in writing, except for certain specific cases, although it does help to have something in writing when things go wrong.

Something controversial or provocative about this subject

Experience in the area
30 years post graduate experience as both a Contractor and a Consultant of construction in UK, Eastern Europe, Africa and Arabia using a variety of forms of Conditions of Contract
Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, UK
Member of the Society of Construction Lawyers
Member of the Dispute Board Resolution Foundation

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Recent Answers from Peter M. Elliott

2016-10-23 Lump sum and works by piece:

Dear Khalid,     You do not mention the form of contract, so the following comments are generic.      You treat it as a normal variation, instructing the Contractor to adjust the number of units to be

2016-10-15 Contract Price , Cost:

Dear Tahir Khan,    I am not sure as to the contractual basis for the PM's opinion.  Clause 13.3 is the relevant clause which states 'These adjustments shall include reasonable profit,...', which seems

2016-10-12 SCL 53.1:

Dear Sudantha,    If the variation order does not include the cost and time effects, or if the Contractor is dissatisfied with the cost or time effects included in the variation order, then the Contractor

2016-10-05 Payment for plant and materials intended for works:

Dear Isaac,     Clause 14.3 is relevant to this question.  IPC's are to be calculated in the sequence given.    Item (c) refers to the calculation of retention and item (e) to the addition of payments

2016-10-04 Sub-clause 13.8 Currency Windfall:

Dear Brian,     Clause 14.6 states 'The Engineer may, in any Payment Certificate, make any correction or modification that should properly be made to any previous Payment Certificate.'  Thus the Engineer


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