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4 Top Tips on How To Defend A Delay Claim – The Contractor has not proven the additional costs claimed

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!


The Contractor has not proven the additional costs claimed.

Even if in principle you are liable for the Contractor’s costs, he still needs to prove the actual costs incurred, so that he can recover the sums from you. Here’s what to look out for:

1. Are the prolongation costs claimed purely time-related?

2. Are the costs claimed within the correct period, that relates to the delay?

3. Have the costs been compensated elsewhere, for example within variations?

4. Has the Contractor included activity related costs within his prolongation costs?

5. Has the Contractor proven actual expenditure of the sums claimed?

6. Is the claim based upon actual cost incurred? Will assessments or unit rates suffice?

7. Has the claim taken account of set-offs or counterclaims?

That’s, what you need to be asking. If you find any discrepancy in the claim and you feel that these questions were not answered satisfactorily, you might want to include this strategy in your defence against a time delay claim.

These are some of the more successful and more obvious strategies you could explore, but there are others, and every project and claim are unique. If you’d like some more specific information, get in touch through the usual channels.


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Kenzie Claims Assistant