Common claims under construction contracts
Common claims under construction contracts

The following Construction guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Common claims under construction contracts
  • Claims against contractors and consultants
  • Defects in the works
  • Design flaws
  • Delay to completion caused by the contractor
  • Claims against the employer
  • Extensions of time
  • Additional payment
  • Non-payment by the employer
  • Dealing with claims

The nature of construction projects, the contracts agreed and the law surrounding them, means that claims are commonly made by one or more parties. This Practice Note highlights the claims that construction practitioners are likely to encounter most frequently, such as those relating to defects, additional time to complete the works (or claims by employers for late work), variations and payment. Other less common claims that may arise, but are not covered here, include claims relating to copyright infringement, nuisance, trespass and health and safety.

Claims against contractors and consultants

Claims may be made against one or more of the construction team by the employer, during or after a construction project has finished. Common claims, as discussed below, include:

  1. Defects in the works or design errors

  2. Delay to completion of the works

Claims may also be brought against one or more of the construction team by third parties. If, for example, a project is sold after completion, third parties (such as purchasers or tenants) may take an assignment of the benefit of the construction contract, receive a collateral warranty, or obtain third party rights. If defects arise after completion of the works, these third parties might then make a claim against one or more of the construction team under the construction contract or collateral warranties/third party rights. For more information on