What is a Forensic Construction Claim and Why carry one out?
After the construction work is complete the parties will seek a final reckoning and agree a Final Account. When all does not go to plan and there may be no apparent reason or explanation for the value of work being widely different to that expected, the true value of the account can be evaluated. A forensic Quantum analysis by a specialist Chartered Quantity Surveyor on the facts and evidence establishing the contract entitlements and cost values due on the project will reveal all and this is a Forensic Construction Claim, which can be compiled and submitted.
Our Quantum Experts understand construction contracts, the construction process and valuation of construction work and are fully conversant with compiling narratives and evidence for any kind of dispute or legal proceedings such as adjudication. Our Forensic surveyors have all had some form of legal training and experience and practice as qualified CPR 35 Expert Witnesses as well as being professionally qualified and experienced to the highest level in construction and contracts.
If any claim is to be submitted it has to be substantiated, evidenced that is the law of the jungle. The evidential burden of proof is on the Claimant. A forensic analysis will achieve that goal it is that simple. The forensic analysis will include:
- Evaluation of the contractual entitlement and liability for work done and time
- Development of the Quantum claim value
- Establishing evidential certainty and substantiation in the claim
- Narrative opposing the undervaluation of a claim from the Payer
- Narrative opposing a claim made against a party to the contract
- A report identifying any risks in the strength of claims proposed, for and against
- An adjudication ready prepared document or any other formal proceedings such as Adjudication, Arbitration, Mediation or Court - "Setting up the Ducks in a Row"
What Final Accounts can be Forensically Claimed?
You can make a claim on any account going back SIX YEARS or TWELVE YEARS if the contract is a deed. The only way a claim would be pointless is if the other party is bankrupt. Final Accounts that have been written off or put to one side can be resurrected and prosecuted with the formality of a claim followed by adjudication if a deal is not brokered.
Money can be locked away due to poor cost management of the project or the client undervalues the works or imposes spurious contra charges for defects and the like. It is not uncommon for 10-20% to be held back. It is also common for loss and expense to be claimed incorrectly or at all where delays and disruption occur and this can often be very significant. Conversely, if you think you have overpaid, the Forensic analysis will reveal if that is the case.
Examples of typical Final Account aspects that can be claimed/scrutinised are:
- Retention Monies
- Remeasurement (if undermeasured)
- Loss and Expense from Delays and Disruption
- Defects and Contra Charges deductions (If unwarranted)
- Variations (Undervalued or dismissed incorrectly)
- Undervaluation of Contract Works
- Damages for Breach of Contract (e.g. repudiation or other failures)
The Arbicon Forensic Quantum analysis can also be framed as an independent CPR 35 Expert Report or as pleadings according to our instructions. The analysis will typically comprise a clear, legally prepared narrative, Scott Schedule Account, Delay Analysis (if applicable) together with appendices containing the contract and relevant facts and evidence in support of the narrative and account.
To find out more about Forensic Construction Claims and how Arbicon can help, please use our contact form or call our offices.