The service I received was very professional, all points were explained to me in detail enabling me to understand exactly.
Dispute Resolution Client
Nicola Webster is an expert in resolving disputes in the construction sector. Her clients include construction/building companies, property developers, engineers, architects, and other professional consultants. Nicola also acts for homeowners.
Common construction disputes
With extensive experience acting for Employers, Contractors, and Professional Consultants, Nicola deals with a wide range of construction disputes which commonly relate to:
- Defective works
- Design flaws
- Delayed works
- Loss and expense claims
Nicola’s experience includes acting for the Employer in disputes regarding:
Poor workmanship/defective works
Defective works caused by a Contractor’s poor workmanship occur frequently in construction projects.
Depending on the terms of their appointment, Contractors are ordinarily under a contractual obligation to rectify defects during a set period following practical completion. Some defects however may go unnoticed until sometime after practical completion – these are known as “latent defects”. Examples of latent defects may be problems with foundations or failure of waterproofing leading to water ingress. Depending on the terms of the agreement, sometimes a Contractor’s liability for latent defects expires before they are discovered.
Defects may also arise from a design flaw beyond the Contractor’s remit, for example, due to a defective design by an architect or other Professional Consultant. In cases such as this, it may be possible to bring a claim against the Professional Consultant (for example, an architect) for failure to exercise the skill and care required of them as the designer. If the Contractor has taken responsibility for the design as well as the build, it may be possible to claim for any design defects against the Contractor.
Delays are a frequent occurrence in construction projects and those that cause a project to overrun a set completion date can cause the Employer both inconvenience and additional costs.
When a set completion date has been agreed, a Contractor has no automatic statutory or common law right to an extension of time should they need one. Therefore, many standard construction contracts provide an express provision to allow for extensions of time when necessary.
Extensions of time can be a highly contentious issue, with the Contractor and Employer disagreeing on the delaying affect an event has had and the extent of delay this has caused.
Delays on a construction project cost money, and the aim is to resolve any dispute as quickly and as effectively as possible.
Nicola’s experience includes acting for the Contractor in disputes regarding:
Loss and expense claims
There are often occasions when a Contractor wishes to seek an additional payment from the Employer for losses and expenses incurred by the Contractor. Often, this is because the Contractor has incurred costs or suffered losses due to delays or prolongation of a construction project due to the Employer or other disturbances to the project due to the actions of the Employer or Designer (due to errors in the design, for example) or other events beyond the Contractors control.
Contractors do not have an automatic right to claim for additional costs from an Employer so whether or not such losses and expenses may be recoverable will depend on the terms of the contract between the Contractor and Employer. If a Contractor wishes to claim for losses and expenses from an Employer, it will need to show that either, it is entitled to make such a claim under the terms of the contract, or, that the Employer is in breach of one of the terms of the contract.
Nicola also has extensive experience of achieving favourable outcomes in cases where an Employer has, without justification, failed to pay the Contractor in accordance with the contract.
Expert advice on construction disputes
Construction disputes can be costly for all parties involved, be that the Contractor, Employer or other Professional Consultants. Nicola has a reputation for a pragmatic commercial approach which achieves swift and successful outcomes for her clients.
For further advice on Construction disputes, contact Nicola.