Building and Construction Blog

Understanding the Contract: More Bargaining Power for Subcontractors

Posted by Nick Kallipolitis on 1 Feb 2019

In this first edition of Coleman Greig’s Building and Construction ‘In Practice’ series, Litigation and Dispute Resolution Principal Lawyer Nick Kallipolitis discusses the importance of (and dangers of not) having a full and thorough understanding of building and construction contracts.

It is relatively common for subcontractor clients of Coleman Greig’s Building and Construction division to ask questions relating to variations of their contracts, and more specifically, how to effectively claim for work that has been undertaken based on such variations to the original contract.  These types of variations would, generally speaking, come from changes in the overall scope of the initial job as directed by the Principal builders and/or developers.

Unfortunately, as a subcontractor, a lack of understanding with regard to how to effectively manage such variations can lead to a loss in bargaining power.  As such, and as Nick explains in this video, it is incredibly important to seek high-quality legal advice in order to set you and your business up in a position where you have a strong enough understanding of your contract to allow you to have both an efficient and effective conversation with the other parties to the contract.

Nick’s key takeaways are:

  1. Know the contract;
  2. Understand the contract;
  3. Perform the contract; and
  4. Seek legal advice.

By following these four key points as a subcontractor, you will find that you have a much higher chance of protecting your business, and in turn, yourself, when dealing with large-scale builders and developers.  Following these key points will also allow you and your business more power with regard to contract bargaining, and will assist you in achieving the independence that you aim for as a subcontractor.

If you have a query relating to any of the information in this video blog, or you would like to speak with a member of Coleman Greig's Building and Construction Law team, please don't hesitate to get in touch today: