Fenwick Elliott Grace offers training for the construction industry. Our people have vast experience in the preparation and presentation of training.

Tom Grace has been teaching Contract Management at the Master Builders Association for a number of years. Tom has a unique perspective on contract management, having managed building contracts on a daily basis during his 20 years in the construction industry. Formerly an engineer, Tom entered legal practice in 1999. Tom’s classes are peppered with examples drawn from his experiences in the building industry, making the training relevant and memorable rather than theoretical.

Jeanie Elliott has been a construction lawyer since 1992. She has advised on a wide range of projects and provided in-house training to all sectors of the industry including specialist training to other lawyers.

Our team focuses on presenting enjoyable courses that are relevant to the industry and are readily understood.

Courses can be tailored to individual requirements and presented at mutually convenient places and times.

Who needs training?

Contract managers, estimators, administrators, salespeople, executives and principals all need to maintain and update their skills. A failure to understand and comply with the legal requirements of the construction industry can prove costly.

How well do you score on the following questions?

  • When is a rough estimate binding on the contractor?
  • Are verbal promises, made before the contract is signed, binding?
  • Do letters exchanged before contract completion form part of the contract?
  • When excavating for foundations, can you charge extra for excavating sandstone?
  • Is it acceptable to negotiate a lower price with a tenderer after tenders have closed?
  • Who pays for damage to the project caused by heavy overnight rain?
  • Can you stop the other party to the contract calling in the bank guarantee?
  • Can you get an extension of time for extra work caused by rain damage?
  • Should you stop work on a project when the owner refuses to make a progress payment?
  • How can you compel a subcontractor to fix defective work?

Many managers don’t know where to start looking for the answers to this type of question.

Our courses typically include workshops and discussion groups where questions can be raised and dealt with on the spot.

Master Builders Association courses

We teach Contracts Management as part of the Certificate IV course for the Master Builders Association.

We recently completed writing a new course for the SA Training Foundation specifically directed at contract administrators.

Our basic courses are a good introduction to these full length courses.

Our introductory courses

Our basic courses include the following topics.

  • Why have a contract – risk allocation and risk management
  • What is a contract
  • Pre contractual promises
  • Tenders
  • Letters of intent
  • Types of construction contract
  • Standard form contracts
  • Notices and record keeping
  • Key contract clauses, how to understand them and how to comply with their requirements
  • Clauses dealing with:
    • Programming
    • Extensions of time
    • Site and latent conditions
    • Defects liability
    • Security and retention
    • Suspension rights and termination rights
  • Dispute resolution procedures
  • Claims inside and outside of the contract

Contract Variations and Your Rights

Most civil construction disputes involve arguments about variations.  Usually the arguments centre around three questions:-

1.        Was the work extra to the contract scope?
2.       Did the contractor follow the agreed process before doing the variation work?
3.       Is the amount claimed for the variation excessive?

Variation arguments often arise because the specifications are vague or the plans have become more detailed since tender.  When contract terms are onerous, it can be impractical or difficult for contractors to comply with variation clauses.  Often, variation work is urgent and the work is completed before anyone stops to think about procedures being followed.

It is not uncommon for payment claims for variations to be rejected because a written direction was never given and the contract says no payment will be given without a written direction. However, rejection for this reason alone may not be justified and there are ways that contractors can pursue these variation claims.

In this presentation, we cover:-

  • A review of the scope of typical variation provisions in standard form contracts;
  • Contract Management tips regarding claims for variations (both from the perspective of a head contractor and subcontractor);
  • Making variation claims when the contract process for variations has been forgotten but the work is done;
  • How variations should be valued.

Contact details for training

For further details on training options contact:

Tom Grace – 8110 8004 or email: tom.grace@feg.com.au

Jeanie Elliott – 8110 8006 or email: jeanie.elliott@feg.com.au