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ArbDB News

ArbDB Chambers Member, Andrew Burr’s Book, ‘Delay And Disruption In Construction Contracts’, 5th Edition, Reviewed

5 July 2017


The “Delay in Disruption in Construction Contracts” series was first published in 1997 and since then Keith Pickavance, a name closely associated with all things delay in the construction world, has guided the publication through another four editions. In the process, the publication has earned its reputation as the most comprehensive English work dedicated to delay, disruption and related issues and remains for many the leader in its field. Many English decisions on delay will be followed elsewhere in the common law world, leading this established title to have more than mere local relevance. 

The fifth edition sees Pickavance assuming a contributor’s role, while the editorial chair has been filled by the previous assistant editor, Andrew Burr. Burr has drawn on the experience and expertise of a formidable editorial team including Francis Barber, Steve Briggs, Wolfgang Breyer, Joe Castellano, David-John Gibbs, Wendy McLaughlin, Chris Miers and Rob Palles-Clark. 

For those unfamiliar with the contents of the book and indeed the subject of delay and disruption in construction and related issues, it is worthwhile to summarise the structure of the book. The first four chapters offer an introduction to the subject and the parties involved in the construction process, the risks inherent in construction, how projects are procured and how standard forms of contract deal with time and costs. 

The authors tease out with impressive clarity a number of important distinctions on the characteristics of some standard forms of contract and the application of such by reference to the decisions of the courts and in particular the City Inn v Shepherd Construction case1. 
The sections dealing with recovery of loss and expense under numerous standard forms of contract provide essential reading on a subject which is often misinterpreted in the industry. A new section on “Cost and time management in the JCT Major Projects Contract and the CIOB Complex Projects Contract – a comparative analysis” is a worthy addition to the previous editions. 

Chapters 5 and 6 introduce the reader to contractual notices, early warnings and conditions precedent, the subject of extensions of time and the concept of time at large. The impressive range of standard forms of contract considered in these chapters provides a useful point of reference for professionals administrating such contracts in the working environment. Chapters 7—10 deal with the mechanics of the Planning and Programming of construction projects including the presentation and approval of programmes, revising, updating, monitoring, and reporting of programmes, and project control. A number of these sections draw rather heavily on the CIOB “Guide to Good practice in the Management of Time in Complex Projects”. 

Issues such as contractors producing attractive yet entirely meaningless programmes, difficulties arising from the inability of sub-contractors’ and contractors’ programmes to co-exist, and deficiencies in the drafting of time 

Book details; Delay and Disruption in Construction Contracts 5th edition, Andrew Burr (Didcot: Routledge, 2016), 1152pp, hardback, £375, ISBN: 978-1-13894-066-6 

You can buy it here:  

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ArbDB Chambers,Arbitrators, Mediators, Adjudicators and Dispute Board Members. London. Dubai. Singapore
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