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  • Writer's pictureAWiCS

AWiCS Webinar Series: “Dealing with COVID-19 Related Claims in the Built Environment Sector”

23 September 2021

AWiCS’ webinar on 23rd September 2021 was once again well attended and well received with requestsfor a part 2 and even part 3 coverageof the subject in future webinars. for a part 2 and evenpart 3 coverage of the subjectin future webinars.

As part of its ongoingefforts to addresssubjects of concernclose to the hearts of members of the construction fraternity, Ms DannaEr, Partner at Eldan Law LLP, was invited to shed some light on how claimsare to be made underthe latest COVID-19laws, including the recent BCA circulars and COTMA Part 10A. Ms Er also gave an overview on how COVID-19related claims are to be made under select standardforms.

Respondents to a poll during the webinar unanimously voted that the current COVID-19 measures, albeitbeing of some help, are not sufficient for the construction industry, and more help couldbe given to private projectsand sub-contractors. Material-price increase, apart frommanpower cost increases, was raised as a concernand a point of consideration for stakeholders.

Ms Er spokeon three broad types of claims commonlymade: extension-of-time (EOT)claims, loss and expenseclaims (related to and incurred due to EOT) and variations claims. She notedthat while the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act does not providefor any EOT, contractors could be entitled for relief based on “material extent caused by COVID-19 event”. Claims for EOT must be made based only on grounds set out in contractual clauses, with “Force Majeure” and “variation due to compliance with law” being some of the commongrounds. In the absence definition in the contract, force majeure events are defined as “unforeseeable events which have prevented performance of the relevant obligation (and not merelymade it more onerous), and which were circumstances beyond the parties’ control”.

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