construction subcontractor payment problems

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Tel: +44 (0)1773 712116

Email: info@streetwisesubbie.com

Construction & Engineering Contract Checking Service

You may be asked to enter into a Contract which you are unsure about. Do you understand your rights and obligations? Does the contract achieve your aims and objectives? Find out exactly what you are getting yourself into before you sign on the dotted line or start any work.

If your answer to any of the above questions is no, or you are not sure, then we have a solution for you.

Firstly, you must be a Tribe Member or a Silver Gold or Platinum Buddy, and a UK based Specialist Contractor, Trade Contractor or Subcontractor. Your size or specialisation does not matter as the principles are exactly the same and we work with companies from £500k to over £130million annual turnover.

This service is based on the principle that Standard Form contracts such as JCT, MF/1, NEC3 etc. were created to be easy to understand, simple to use, and fair to both parties and should need little or no amendment. So why don’t Contractors use them?

When Contractors introduce amendments to Standard Forms or even create their own ‘bespoke’ contracts, you need to have your wits about you! Because, if the Contractor has amended a Standard Form contract or sent a bespoke contract, not a single one of those amendments or terms will be written in your favour!

Rushing to sign the contract or entering into contract by performance/starting work without understanding whether or not it is contains Onerous Terms can be fatal.

What This Members Only Contract Checking Service Provides

When you upload your contract to this portal one of our expert team of advisors will carry out an initial review and within 48 hours (other than contracts uploaded at weekends and public holidays), you will receive an email telling you whether or not the contract is onerous.

What This Members Only Service Does NOT Provide

This part of your membership service will not provide specific contractual or legal advice as to the reasons why the contract is onerous. It is not a substitute for the contractual advice that is available from our professional Consultants.

As a Tribe Member or one of our Buddies you can take a very important first step in understanding whether or not your contract is onerous, and coming to terms with and ridding this industry of onerous terms.

And then, if you need our further help and assistance, you can easily access our Consultants and as a Silver, Gold or Platinum Buddy you benefit from discounted rates, and as a Gold or Platinum Buddy your first hour each month is free!

Remember that you can access our expert Consultants with or without upgrading your membership, but if you do want to upgrade it’s quick and easy.

Please feel free to call our friendly team on 01773 712116 or email us on info@streetwisesubbie.com.

This Service Is Subject To Our Terms and Conditions


To use this please join to become a member of Our TRIBE! (Existing members need to login below)


From Construction Enquirer January 2019

Specialists sound alarm on onerous contract clauses

Specialists are seeing a sharp rise in the use of onerous contract clauses being introduced by main contractors.

The proliferation in the use of bespoke contracts that often purport to be standard forms is creating a minefield for unsuspecting subcontractors.

Specialists now claim that most tier one contractors have shifted away from standard forms, as they seek to shift risk on projects with paper-thin margins.

A spokesman for the British Constructional Steelwork Association, said: “We have contracts that contain more additional clauses than there are clauses in the standard version.

“While everyone accepts that there are risks in contracting this sort of behaviour is beyond risk management and verges on blatant abuse of power.”

Another subcontractor told the Enquirer: “I was presented with a standard JCT the other day that should have been around 76 pages but ran to 177 pages.

“Some firms don’t realise it but they can be agreeing to unlimited liability, or agreeing terms that PI insurers will not pay out on.”

Subcontractors Taking Risks With Onerous Contracts

Construction & Engineering Contract Checking Service

Many Specialist Contractors, Trade Contractors and Subcontractors in the construction industry have entered in to contracts assuming that logic and fairness will prevail only to find themselves unable to claim for legitimate variations, extensions of time and payment, due to onerous contract clauses.

How can Subcontractors protect themselves against onerous contract clauses?

A review of your contract may assist in one of several ways:

  • At tender stage a review of a proposed contract enabling you to price in risk where possible and/or mark clauses you will not accept clearly within your tender clarifications.
  • At award or even post-award, a review of your contract also provides you with awareness of your obligations during execution of the works, assisting with compliance with notice periods, submission of payment claims and awareness of onerous clauses.
  • At award stage a review of the proposed contract equips you to negotiate with the other party on onerous clauses and terms inconsistent with your quotation.
  • A review of your contract combined with project personnel training customised to your newly awarded contract can equip your team with the tools to manage the contract effectively during execution of the works.

We can also assist in negotiations with your client directly or indirectly and have extensive experience in face to face negotiations on behalf of clients with great success.

We provide an initial free review, but we also provide professional, comprehensive and cost effective solutions for contract review at all stages. We can work to your budget for a review and a few £pounds spent now will save you £thousands in the long run by protecting your entitlements.

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Please feel free to call our friendly team on 01773 712116 or email us on info@streetwisesubbie.com.

Become a Streetwise Buddy

Construction’s a tough place to do business right now, and Specialist Contractors need all the help you can get. That’s why you will find our resources and expertise are invaluable, whatever the size of your business and whatever your specialisation. We’re here to help you solve all your business problems, including the crucially important contractual ones, such as getting paid.

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Tel: +44 (0)1773 712116
Email: info@streetwisesubbie.com

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