Professional Negligence solicitor, Emma Slade, looks at construction projects gone wrong & the role of Project Managers
There is a multitude of reasons why a construction project may go wrong and end up in a legal dispute. Poor workmanship, poor design and poor timetabling are all common. But what about poor supervision?
Anybody involved in a build project will undoubtedly have heard of a JCT Contract. In fact, there are a suite of contracts that have been prepared by the Joint Contracts Tribunal and have been created to “facilitate the process of delivering a building project. In simple terms they set out the responsibilities of all the parties within the process and their obligations to each other”.
One of the recommendations in a JCT Contract is to appoint a Contract Administrator (or a Project Manager under NEC Contracts) who will be the client’s representative throughout the project and is there to oversee the works themselves. Customarily, the role will go to the likes of a surveyor or an architect, but it can be any number of professions.
However appointment of a Project Manager is no guarantee that things will run smoothly. Unfortunately there are lots of examples of construction projects gone wrong even where a Project Manager has been hires to oversee things.
Contruction projects gone wrong and negligence cases involving Project Managers can include the following:
- Failure to ensure the contract is signed;
- Failure to notice or report on defects;
- Failure to comply with the timetable;
- Biased decisions;
- Allowing an overrun on costs;
- Negligently issuing Interim or Final Certificates;
- Failure to ensure insurance was in place; and
- Recommending unreliable contractors.
And where negligence occurs, invariably a financial loss results: an overrun on the project; additional build costs; inability to recover against the main contractor; having a build fail due to incompetence are all common claims.
We are professional negligence solicitors specialising in construction projects gone wrong & project manager negligence claims on a national basis. We offer various funding options including No Win, No Fee.