Arcadis have recently published their Global Construction Dispute Report 2018. Unsurprisingly, “Poorly drafted or incomplete/unsubstantiated claims” is the second most frequent reason for disputes. This reason has ranked highly for several years, so it seems that the industry is not learning from its mistakes.

The onus is on the claimant to properly prove his case and failure to do so will result in a rejected claim. Often a contractor finds himself in this situation but considers that he does have just entitlement. In this case, he must then elevate the matter to a costly and time-consuming dispute to resolve the dispute.

Simply put, a claim is an assertion of a party’s right under the terms of a contract or at law. Any claim should demonstrate that the claimant is entitled to the compensation, and the amount claimed. This report is telling us that claimants in dispute actually had a just claim but did a bad job of asking for it.

The average dispute value is US$43.5 million, and the average length of disputes is 14.8 months. So, isn’t it about time that contractors started to do a better job of asking for something that they are entitled to?

Preparing a claim, for either small or large value, is not rocket science. But it does require time, effort and skill to ensure that it is properly compiled and presented. It also requires the claimant to include some essential elements to demonstrate entitlement.

Preparing a claim to resolve the matter without dispute will cost you money, either in employee time or external assistance. But with an average dispute of US$43.5 million, this has to be money well spent.

Take a look at Bill Bordill’s video on the four corners of a claim to find out more on what’s required for a successful claim.

If you are still unsure, our construction claims services could help you avoid time-consuming and costly disputes.