Contracts and Documentation

Concise, clear and watertight contracts are essential for the progress of any major construction project. At RACPM, we produce documents that cut to the heart of transactions, clearly allocating risks and responsibilities.

We deal with a full range of procurement and documentation tasks. From drafting project correspondence to negotiating complex agreements, our industry experience – and our extensive experience devising major business deals – means we can save you time and money, and safeguard you against possible pitfalls.

Only by understanding our clients’ commercial commitments and aims can we become a true partner and add maximum value, which is why we discuss projects in detail and encourage a relationship of open dialogue.

We can help with procurement strategies, contract negotiation, document appraisal and risk analysis, partnering and framework agreements, and facilities management – or anything else that would benefit from our specialist attention.

Following a project, we conduct full risk and project audits to assess which processes, if any, could be improved in the future. We can also provide a second opinion, or risk audit, on existing claims or disputes.

 

Contracts Advice and Protection

Contracts advice is the review and analysis of Contract documentation during pre- and post-contract periods to provide high quality and expert advice and guidance with sound practical and technical solutions to facilitate protection and cost-effective solutions for our Clients. Our highly trained Construction Professionals are able to understand both Client needs and the related substantive and legal issues.

Our advice provided by our Senior Consultants in conjunction with the Contractor’s Management Team includes:

  • Advising on optimum Contractual and Sub-contractual arrangements and preparing tailor made forms of Contracts and amendments to standard forms
  • Review of Tender or Contract Documents to identify obligations, liabilities and areas of risk
  • Advice and opinion on contractual matters arising throughout the Contract period
  • Advice on bonds, warranties, guarantees and insurances
  • Identifying potential areas of conflict which will require to be addressed throughout the Contract
  • Advising on sub-contracting arrangements to ensure equitable obligations, liabilities and risks reflect the same as the main contractors.

 

Contracts Administration

We have experience in working closely with Contractors on the need for their day-to-day administration of construction projects from a contractual viewpoint. Strong contract administration is essential to ensure that any entitlement under the contract is preserved.

Our advice to the Contractor on an informed basis includes:

  • Establishing standard forms for record keeping
  • Ensuring that all matters and correspondence of a contractual nature are responded to in an appropriate manner
  • Interpretation of contract requirements as to notices, pro-forma letters and schedules to ensure strict timescales for submission are complied with
  • Monitoring for delays and their causes to ensure that appropriate contractual action is taken
  • Optimising the valuation of variations and monthly progress reporting
  • Optimising cash flow by the proper analysis and by prioritisation of variations

 

Pre-Contract Services

This covers Contract advice and protection by identifying and obtaining tailor made Contract arrangements and procedures, obligations, liabilities and risk areas on all parties and evaluating all potential areas of conflict. We also help in preparation and review of important contractual matters.

We help in Contract administration providing and implementing document control systems, with standards forms for record keeping, monitoring for delays and checks. It also involves optimizing valuation of variations and monthly progress reporting and ensuring better cash flow by proper analysis and prioritization of variations.

Another significant area is risk and conflict avoidance. Towards this end, we precisely identify risks and liabilities, create awareness at the personnel level to ensure conformance, effective monitoring and recording of all processes and accurate assessment of risk exposure and enabling decision making.

We also handle drafting and final presentation of contract correspondence, contracts/ commercial team structure and training and procurement oversight.

 

The most common key issues in conflict avoidance are:

  • Identification and allocation of obligations, liabilities and risk
  • Proper management of obligations and making project staff aware of the contract procedures and obligations
  • Effective monitoring and recording of the construction process
  • Early and accurate assessment of exposure to risk
  • Identifying the options available and their affect
  • Calculated decision making
  • Implementation of cost-effective solutions

We are often first involved with a project after a conflict has already occurred. Our experience from investigating and analysing these conflicts generally shows that the cause often occurs in the early stages of a project either in allocation of risk, problems in design and ensuing late assessment of variations, loss of control of programme or the failure of one or both of the parties to adhere to the contract procedures.

Issues of conflict tend to occupy extensive management time, disrupt the construction process and cash flow and may lead to the damaging of business relationships.

Conflict avoidance should be a priority issue for all contractors from the very outset of a project and we are able to offer advice and assist in decision making to effective avoidance of conflicts.