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4 Top Tips on How to Defend a Delay Claim : You are not liable for the Contractor costs

You don’t need us to tell you that a construction delay claim is an almost inevitable part of every construction project.

In our experience, even the best run projects suffer delays, and this almost always results in one party chasing after money within a delay claim.

Preparing and defending a construction claim is an immensely complex undertaking, and much has been written about the delay and quantum analysis and the preparation of construction claims generally.

We’ve put together a list of what we think are the top defences to a claim you might receive. We’ll focus on the ones that we consider to be the big hitters or put simply the ones where we have had the most success!


You are not liable for the Contractor costs.

One of the bigger defences we explore with our clients is that our client (or you in this case) are not liable for the contractor costs.

Even if the Contractor has proven the delay because of a delay event that you are liable for, then you still may not contractually be liable for the costs claimed by them.

There are several other things to look out for:

1. Has the Contractor issued the correct Notices?

2. Does the Contract contain a “No damage for delay clause”?

3. Were there Concurrent delays for which the Contractor is liable for?

4. Has the Contractor waived its rights to claim already?

5. Has the Contractor previously agreed on the costs associated with the delay event, within a Variation or the like?

6. Was the Contractor inefficient?

7. Did the Contractor attempt to mitigate the costs?

8. Are the delay events non-compensable delay (for example weather or force majeure?)

9. Have the costs already been compensated within overheads or variations?

10. Was an actual damage suffered?

11. Did the Contractor contribute to the delays and costs incurred?

There is a lot of information to digest here, but we’re not finished. We have one more defence strategy to talk about, and that will be the subject of our final blog.

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Kenzie Claims Assistant