Issues in establishing blame in disrupted projects

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Projects subjected to significant cost overruns that occur from disruptions and delays can often result in either the contractor or the employer making a claim against the other party. Claims are for very large sums of money and so the process of establishing blame is a serious matter and can be extremely complex. In this paper we highlight one specific issue - unravelling the interaction between disruptions - that makes establishing blame particularly problematic. Although the issue has been recognised by academics, guidance for practice has not fully acknowledged. The paper uses a simple example to illustrate the nature and significance of the issue of analysing the impact of one disruption on another. The Society for Construction Law recently launched the 2nd Edition of their Protocol that provides "practical and principled guidance on proportionate measures for dealing with delay and disruption issues that can be applied in relation to all projects, regardless of complexity or scale". The Protocol is likely to be influential in helping deal with disputes. However the Protocol provides guidance, particularly in relation to simulation modelling, that means it is likely that mis-attribution of blame will occur. We suggest a revised wording that might alleviate this concern.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-27
Number of pages27
JournalConstruction Law Journal
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 28 Sep 2019

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construction law
attribution
employer
money
simulation
costs
interaction
Disruption
Guidance
Society

Keywords

  • projects
  • construction
  • disruptions

Cite this

Eden, C., & Howick, S. (Accepted/In press). Issues in establishing blame in disrupted projects. Construction Law Journal, 1-27.
Eden, Colin ; Howick, Susan. / Issues in establishing blame in disrupted projects. In: Construction Law Journal. 2019 ; pp. 1-27.
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Eden, C & Howick, S 2019, 'Issues in establishing blame in disrupted projects', Construction Law Journal, pp. 1-27.

Issues in establishing blame in disrupted projects. / Eden, Colin; Howick, Susan.

In: Construction Law Journal, 28.09.2019, p. 1-27.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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N2 - Projects subjected to significant cost overruns that occur from disruptions and delays can often result in either the contractor or the employer making a claim against the other party. Claims are for very large sums of money and so the process of establishing blame is a serious matter and can be extremely complex. In this paper we highlight one specific issue - unravelling the interaction between disruptions - that makes establishing blame particularly problematic. Although the issue has been recognised by academics, guidance for practice has not fully acknowledged. The paper uses a simple example to illustrate the nature and significance of the issue of analysing the impact of one disruption on another. The Society for Construction Law recently launched the 2nd Edition of their Protocol that provides "practical and principled guidance on proportionate measures for dealing with delay and disruption issues that can be applied in relation to all projects, regardless of complexity or scale". The Protocol is likely to be influential in helping deal with disputes. However the Protocol provides guidance, particularly in relation to simulation modelling, that means it is likely that mis-attribution of blame will occur. We suggest a revised wording that might alleviate this concern.

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Eden C, Howick S. Issues in establishing blame in disrupted projects. Construction Law Journal. 2019 Sep 28;1-27.