In this ebriefing, we identify what we see as the key messages arising from recent prosecutions in the care and housing sectors.
Social housing providers will routinely have a number of construction projects underway at any one time. Whether building new properties or undertaking gas servicing, responsive repairs, aids and adaptations or planned preventative maintenance, it is essential for client teams to understand and avoid key contract management pitfalls.
Unfortunately, disputes are a common occurrence on construction projects and it can require significant time and money to address disputes with contractors or consultants, as well as complaints from residents or the wider public. At a time of increasingly strained budgets, those unexpected costs can be difficult to absorb and will obviously be unwelcome.
In our experience, many disputes can be avoided if client teams are aware of key contract management pitfalls and ensure their effective navigation through training and support. We have found that many disputes arise through misunderstandings and ambiguity around how the parties apply the contract terms to manage the contract effectively. The good news for those looking to deliver construction projects is that you can manage problems by learning how to avoid a number of pitfalls, such as:
- Administering payment mechanisms effectively and consistently;
- Issuing change instructions that capture the full details of the change in a clear and fully detailed manner;
- Ensuring that any variations to the contractual terms are set out in clear terms and in writing; and
- Administering final account mechanisms effectively and consistently.
Whilst no two disputes are identical, our experience shows that addressing these potential contract management pitfalls can help to mitigate the risk of disputes and can also place clients on a sound footing to resolve disputes when they do arise.
Introducing our contract management training programme
This ebriefing marks the start of a series, where each month we will focus in detail on a specific contract management pitfall.
In the meantime, many of you will be aware that we regularly deliver contract management and dispute resolution training sessions. If you have any questions regarding the issues raised in this ebriefing or would like to find out more about our bespoke client training programme, please contact Andrew Lancaster.
A recent High Court case on costs could prove essential reading for clients who have cases in the magistrates' courts.
The employment and pensions team offer practical advice on whistleblowing.
Partners, David Alcock and Sarah Patrice, have been involved in reviewing the new Code of Governance for community-led housing, published on 21 May 2021 by the Confederation for Coop Housing.
Following the eviction ban being lifted on 31 May 2021 and further to our previous ebriefing, the new notice of seeking possession forms are now available on the Government website as Word versions.
The European Court of Justice's standpoint on the Wiener Wohnen landowning developer case, and how the level of influence over the work did not amount to a decisive influence.
The Law Commission's Technical Issues in Charity Law report revealed that many charities struggle with a range of technical issue in the law.
The Law Commission recommended four key changes to the law in respect of mergers and the incorporation of charities which we have detailed in this ebriefing.
Over the last few weeks, we have published individual ebriefings on some of the key changes to be implemented following the Government’s response to the Law Commission’s report.
In April 2021, the Foreign Office halted funding for Oxfam following new allegations of sexual misconduct made against staff in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
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