Coronavirus advice for business
The impact of COVID-19 is such that all employers are being forced to look at how best to protect their business interests and their workforce.
For the construction sector it is likely that construction sites/projects of all sizes will start to slow down until the outbreak is under control.
Whilst health and safety of those working on site will be the principal concern, necessary safety measures will have financial impacts where progress of works will be inevitably interrupted and/or delayed. For employers, a delayed completion date can mean loss of income from completed projects and increased finance costs against which they will normally provide for payment of liquidated damages. Contractors will on the other hand incur direct costs for a prolonged period of applying their resources and incurring site overheads which they will look to recover by way of loss and expense claims.
Which party bears the risk of these delays and the contractual position for recovery of these costs will be of crucial importance to businesses going forward for recovery. It is likely that COVID-19 will be regarded as a force majeure event outwith the control of parties to contracts. Most contracts will contain express provisions for these events to allocate the risk and set out the rights of the parties and are a range of possibilities are commonly encountered. Understanding what your contractual rights are and the contractual procedures to protect these is critical (e.g. where the provisions are made conditional upon service of notices).
If you have any concerns about health & safety, business continuity or whether you could be exposed to liquidated damages or loss and expense claims because of COVID-19, we are on hand to help you understand the extent of the risk - and to understand what your options could be to limit this risk.
Key contact - Michael Conroy
Chambers UK Guide to the Legal Profession lists Michael as a "Leader in the Field" in Construction Law, where he has been recognised for his years of experience in contentious and non-contentious construction matters. View full profile.
Construction law advice in Scotland, the UK and beyond
Our construction and engineering team are trusted advisers to developers, contractors and consultants, funders and end users of the full range of construction and engineering projects. This includes residential, commercial real estate (offices, retail, hotel and mixed use developments), renewable energy and infrastructure projects.
Led by Partners recognised as leading practitioners in their field, we deal with all aspects of such projects in the UK and beyond from advising on procurement processes and contract structures to providing strategic guidance during the delivery of a project.
We provide assistance with contract drafting, negotiation, interpretation and assembly for all types of industry standard form and bespoke contracts.
We also provide strategic advice and representation in relation to construction disputes - and can represent our clients at each stage, from negotiation and mediation through to adjudication, arbitration and litigation.
Clients include public and private sector developers, national and international contractors, consultants, sub-contactors, funders, owners, purchasers and tenants, as well as investor owners, purchasers and tenants of completed projects.
Call us for free on 0330 159 5555 or complete our online form below for legal advice or to arrange a call back.
Why choose us?
We are acutely aware of the commercial as well as the legal considerations facing the construction and engineering sector.
Competitive bidding and pricing, supplier engagement, contract administration, claims management, whatever challenges you face - we are well equipped to advise and help you achieve reasonable packages and resolutions which will protect your business and minimise exposure to risk.
Our team works closely with specialist colleagues in real estate, banking & finance, renewable energy, infrastructure & projects, corporate and planning & environmental to offer a one-stop shop service to our clients on a wide variety of projects.
Our key services include:
- Ancillary document management
- Back-to-back drafting
- Bid reviews
- Contract assembly
- Contract review and negotiation
- Dispute avoidance
- Dispute resolution
- Procurement advice
Meet the construction & engineering team
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