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 it reflect what you thought you have priced or agreed to? # Do you understand the terms and conditions? # Do you know what you can do if you’re not getting paid properly?
If your answer to any of the above questions is no, or you are not sure, then we have a solution for you. Because with our Contract Checking Service you can find out exactly what you are getting yourself into before you sign on the dotted line or start any work.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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.
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.
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.
“This toolkit is amazing, I often sit up late at night googling information or reading contractual books from my iphone before going to sleep. On reading the first couple of tabs worth in your beautifully presented and appropriately organised folders I am delighted to have joined the club! I’ve always said that knowledge is power and this really is a powerful resource, there will be a hell of a lot of bed time reading but hopefully this will allow me to retire before I hit the age of 90.”
Mark Grocock, Managing Director, Bespoke Drywall Ltd
"Streetwisesubbies consultant guided Bespoke Drywall Limited through the triple ISO certification process and, with thier assistance, we were certificated to 9001, 14001 & 18001. The consultant supplied assistance and support throughout the process either by email, phone or visits to our Office. He also chaired our inaugural management review and steered us through and also made other positive contributions to our business which has seen us register on the Growth Accelerator coaching programme. We also intend to engage him to carry out our annual internal audits. A consummate professional and we would not hesitate to recommend him."
Ian Radford, Managing Director, M I Electrical Solutions Limited
“StreetwiseSubbie provides no nonsense contractual advice that’s easy to understand and their Consultant has been excellent at getting our money for us!”
Gerard Duffy, MD, Enterprise Electrical Ltd
"A company went bump on us owing quite a bit of money. Our Streetwise Consultant) guided us through our options and worked with the end client to re-coup some of our losses ... the moral of this story, get signed up to StreetwiseSubbie and make use of what it has to offer."
Bernard Murray, Fireproof Fire Engineering Sprinkler System Specialists
“I want to express my own and our Directors thanks for your input on our payment problems...and the successful resolution of the matter.”
Sue McIntyre, General Manager, Grantfen Fire & Security Ltd
“We are very grateful to StreetwiseSubbie for helping us to resolve a stressful and potentially disastrous situation“
Stuart Bailey, Managing Director, William Bailey Ltd
"StreetwiseSubbie added to our contractual awareness and helped us improve our marketing...it’s definitely a good deal and very informative!”
Tim Keyes, Managing Director, NWP Electrical and Mechanical Limited
“The initial StreetwiseSubbie induction session provided us with a comprehensive marketing report....and their free consultancy service for copy writing helped us to secure top quality press coverage in our area.”
Karl Bradshaw, Director, B&S Electrical Contractors Ltd
“Sub-Contractor friendly, down to earth commercial and contractual advice and support that has already helped us enormously.”
Trevor Kirby, Anglian Architechtural
“I recommend all Specialist Contractors, whether they nd trading in the present market to be a challenge or not, to get in touch with StreetwiseSubbie; we did - and the monthly fee has been money well spent for advice on both Contractual and Marketing matters. We are a small rm and when we needed Contractual support to ght a claim that was dragging on, Streetwise was there for us and we got paid within a month.”
Reg Burgess, Painting Subcontractor
“Many thanks for your advice regarding our contractual problem and your prompt, straightforward advice regarding applications, dayworks and more.
I feel genuinely re-assured having found your site and the backup provided from you and your team.”
Phil Bradley Jacobs, LES E&I Specialist Sub-Contractors
“I had a particularly difficult contractual position with a client, which could have led to a significant commercial loss on the project, through Barry’s involvement and assistance I managed to work positively and constructively with the client to amicably resolve the issues to the success of the project.
Barry provided a clear and concise contractual position but then set out scenarios from real life experiences that changed the strategy we adopted; this was instrumental in reaching an amicable resolution of a difficult situation.”
Mike Fitzpatrick, Fitzpatrick Mechanical Services Ltd
“I highly recommend Streetwisesubbies Consultants, Foy Certification for their simple step by step approach to achieving an IMS; with thier help we have been able to achieve the three international standards taking our business to the next level”
John O’Connell, Managing Director, O’Connell’s Drywall Contractors Limited
“StreetwiseSubbie helped us to produce more effective advertising that got results”
M Duff, Company Director, R&M Sprinkler Installations
“We had only just signed up for the Gold Buddy Membership when we had issues getting retention monies released from a Main Contractor, with the expert and excellent assistance and advice received from Jo and the team, our retention monies were promptly released. We have since recommended SWS
to other subbies having similar issues. Once again many thanks for your help.”