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Claiming and Determining Prolongation Costs under German Law

Paper number

Dr Wolfgang Breyer

August 2012

A paper presented to the Centre of Construction Law 25th Anniversary Conference held at King's College, London on 29th June 2012

The case law in England on how a contractor may claim as damages from an employer the costs of prolongation of a project, when caused by the employer's own default, is complex enough. In this paper, Wolfgang Breyer, a practitioner in Germany and academic contributor to the new postgraduate programme in Vienna, compares and contrasts the English approach with that in Germany. He concludes that, although the issues and how to deal with them are characterised differently between the two countries (Germany appearing to be less demanding of the contractor wishing to claim prolongation costs), the result on the ground appears not markedly different. This is so despite the impact of national standard forms, which often distinguish between prolongation costs and costs caused by a variation.

Introduction - The issue in question - Comparison with the situation in German law and the decision BGH VII ZR 225/03 - Comparing BGH VII ZR 225/03 with Costain v Haswell - Complications in German practice - Conclusions.

The author: Dr Wolfgang Breyer is an attorney and the founder and managing partner of Breyer Rechtsanwalte, a boutique law firm specialising in German and international construction law; he is also the Practitioner Director of the Postgraduate Programme in International Construction Law at the University of Vienna.

Text 9 pages.