Delays and disruption on construction projects often lead to disputes between contractors, developers and other parties.  Now the Society of Construction Law has published an updated Delay and Disruption Protocol which provides guidance to all sides on how to agree time extensions and compensation.  This is the first revision of the protocol, which is used around the world, since 2002.

The second edition takes into account changes in the law, industry practice and technology over the last 15 years.  It is not legally binding, but is widely cited in disputes “It is first of all important to remember that the protocol is not ‘law’ and is rarely, if ever, expressly incorporated into construction contracts,” said Neal Morris  of law firm Pinsent Masons.  “That said, this new protocol helpfully shines some further light into one of construction law’s darkest corners.”

The revised protocol addresses eight key issues.  These include guidance on choosing a form of delay analysis, an overview of delay methodologies and guidance on record keeping as well as dealing with concurrent delay and disruption.

Both the original and updated protocols are based on English law, but the first has been widely adopted around the world. International Societies of Construction Law have adapted the protocol to local market conditions by publishing their own supplements.

The original Delay and Disruption Protocol has proved a valuable resource in resolving construction disputes,” said James Burgoyne, Director – Claims & Technical, Brunel Professions.  “I am sure the updated version will prove just as effective.  Dealing with delays and disruption early on can prevent them escalating to the point where they end up in court and land one party or other with a huge legal bill or negligence settlement.”

Reports on the updated protocol have been published by legal news site, Out-Law and by law firm White and Case.  The full protocol can be downloaded from the Society of Construction Law’s website.

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