HKA have recently published a report: Claims and Dispute Causation – a Global Market Sector Analysis in which they have analysed over 4,000 disputes across 700 projects in 72 countries, with a combined project value exceeding US$1.2 trillion.

The report highlights the top 30 causation factors for disputes:

  1. Changes in scope
  2. Contract requirements were poorly drafted
  3. Contract management and/or administration failure
  4. Design information was issued late
  5. Level of skill and/or experience
  6. Design was incomplete
  7. Access to site/workplace was restricted and/or late
  8. Cashflow and payment issues
  9. Physical conditions were unforeseen
  10. Claims were spurious, overinflated, opportunistic and/or unsubstantiated

None of this comes as surprise to us. These issues are fairly typical of the things that we help our clients with all the time. What is interesting though, is that at least 6 causes included in the top ten would probably result in a claim situation and yet, when we look at cause number 11, contractors have managed the claims so badly, the claims themselves have become the causes of a dispute. This in turn tells us that ‘contract management and/or administration failure’ and ‘level of skill and/or experience’ are also a contributory factor to disputes arising from claims.

On a typical project some things are unavoidable. Changes in scope are almost inevitable and late information, access problems and physical conditions are sometimes just a result of circumstances. All of which will often result in claims. Whilst we manage claims on behalf of both employers and contractors, we also like to help our clients to avoid claims. Poorly drafted contract requirements, failure in contract management and administration and poor levels of skill and experience are all matters that, if managed properly from the outset, would avoid claims and disputes.

Interestingly HKA’s report, whilst only in its second year of publication, echoes and supports ARCADIS’s Global Construction Disputes Reports from the past several years, which cite very similar reasons for disputes. It seems that the industry is not listening to the experts and continues to get things wrong.

Hewitt Decipher Partnership’s expert consultants have been preparing and responding to claims for many years and we know how to comply with all of the above advice to ensure that your claims are accepted in a timely manner.

Can we help you? Get in touch via our contact page; we would be happy to discuss any support that you may need.