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The importance of correctly drafted contract notices… by Tim Trebes

The importance of correctly drafted contract notices… by Tim Trebes

In an industry where the success of a project is measured against several factors including time, money and quality it is vital that contract notices are issued promptly and with the necessary information required to help the  parties understand and manage events that could impact the successful delivery and objectives of the project.  

Many contracts require that notices must be given and specific clauses are drafted detailing when the parties must give notice to one another in certain circumstances. The contract must be carefully read in order to determine which clause(s) apply to the current situation and whether there is any requirements in order to be entitled to time, money or both. 

So what is a good notice?

A good notice should be clear and to the point with no ambiguity or inconsistency. Include as much information as possible that you have available at the time of drafting. You can expect it to include the below:   

  • A clear description of the event
  • Can the event be mitigated
  • What impact does the event have on achieving completion
  • Will the event have an impact on the contract price
  • Whether a meeting is necessary to discuss and work to mitigate the impact

It’ is important to remember that a notice clause will specify:

  • What a notice will look like
  • How it is to be sent – i.e. email, fax, post
  • The information it should contain
  • The recipient
  • Time limit for issuing notices after an event

If a contractor fails to comply with the requirement of the notice clause, they may not be able to claim for an event for which they would otherwise have been entitled to recover their time and money for.

Any error, no matter how small, when submitting a notification can subsequently result in issues for the claiming party. 

Built Intelligence offers a wide selection of FREE downloadable forms for FIDIC, JCT and NEC forms of contract. The forms give you a great starting point to capture all the relevant information usually issued on a notice. This allows the drafting party to download and complete the forms before sending via the specified communication channel set out in the notice.  The FREE templates can be found here

Built Intelligence also offer a solution called FastDraft – FastDraft is an easy to use contract management platform that supports NEC3, NEC4, JCT and FIDIC forms of contract. This enables your project teams to draft and manage contract notices, monitor project performance and outcomes

FastDraft helps to improve your teams productivity and contract compliance through its workflows and controlled collaboration The prebuilt templates and workflows allows NEC3, NEC4, JCT, and FIDIC contracts to be set up and customised quickly. You can configure each project to include a review of bespoke clauses and contract data to tailor the system to your exact requirements.

About the author

Tim is a Director at Trebes Consulting. He is an NEC3 & 4 Accredited Project Manager with experience working with clients and contractors helping to develop and implement the NEC forms of contract. Trebes Consulting’s team specialise in the NEC form of contract and have experience in major projects and programmes of work and provide training and support to their clients.

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