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Comparative Review of Modern Standard Forms of Construction Contracts during Covid-19 Pandemic

Main Reasons of Construction Claims Triggered by the Pandemic

During the last two years, Covid-19 significantly disrupted the normality all around the world. The impact of Covid-19 on has significantly hampered the Construction Industry and the level and complexity of construction disputes has risen. In fact, Construction News website reports that “the average value of disputes in the UK rose to £27.4m last year, up from £12.6m in 2019”.

While modern Standard Forms of Construction Contracts (SFCC) are expected to provide an impartial, fair and balanced legal framework to minimising the avenues for construction disputes, within the context of Covid-19, the capabilities of SFCCs have been challenged. While different SFCCs have different mechanisms to deal with common causes of construction disputes such as payments, valuations, variations and delays, Covid-19 reminded us that all such SFCCs need to be stress tested for major disruptions caused by unforeseen events such as Covid-19.

Within this context, you are tasked to do a comparative review of the capabilities of modern SFCCs (select at least 2 SFCCs – e.g. JCT16, NEC4, FIDIC) with regards to their performance when dealing with Covid-19 related claims. In this analysis first you should review the main reasons (root causes, e.g. payments, delays, etc.) of construction claims triggered by the pandemic. Secondly you should select at least 2 SFCCs that you are familiar with (or you prefer), and review the effectiveness and shortcomings of mechanisms provided within the selected SFCCs to resolve the risen disputes. In doing so, you are strongly encouraged to research and discuss cases and real project examples in building your arguments.

Assessment should be no more than 3000 words long.  This includes every word, excluding only: any initial contents/title page, and the reference list(s) located at the very end of your submission.

Marks for your assessment will be allocated as follows:

•Critical analysis of the main reasons (root causes) of construction claims triggered by the pandemic - 25%

•Synthesis of the mechanisms (or lack thereof) provided within the selected SFCCs to assist dealing with Covid-19 related claims - 30%

•Comparative discussion on how and to what extent the selected SFCCs have been effective in dealing with Covid-19 related claims  - 30%

•Presentation of report (Layout, structure, visual presentation, use of language, clarity of expression, referencing within text and bibliography) - 15%

1.Critically evaluate differences in contractual provisions of standard forms of contracts such as JCT, FIDIC, ECC/NEC, GC Works

2.Compare and contrast contractual procedures and clauses of various standard forms of contracts in terms of time, cost and quality parameters.

3.Critically evaluate various dispute resolution and avoidance mechanisms such as adjudication and arbitration, and their procedures

1.Advise client on the selection of the appropriate standard form of contract and warranties for the chosen procurement route

2.Advise relevant parties on the administrative procedures necessary for the smooth running of a construction contract

1.A high standard of appreciation and understanding of theoretical, philosophical and methodological concepts of contract management

2.A high level of problem solving and analytical skills

A high level of competence in providing advice and developing strategies for contracts in practice

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