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Early Termination by the Client in the Event of the Contractor's Non-performance

Paper number

Professor Anthony Lavers

February 2011

A paper given to the European Society of Construction Law in Amsterdam on 15th October 2010

The paper arose out of an invitation given by the Dutch Society of Construction Law to other European Societies to consider the legal position in their own jurisdictions with reference to the provisions in two Dutch standard forms. Professor Lavers, on behalf of the UK Society, considered early termination by the client. He begins by noting that most commercial contracts grant one or both parties the right to terminate the contract in certain circumstances; and that the law of most jurisdictions will also generally grant parties the right to terminate in certain circumstances when the other party is in breach. He distinguishes between termination for convenience (permitting an employer to terminate at any time, for any reason) and termination for cause (termination depending on the occurrence of certain events). He considers the termination provisions in the JCT Design and Build Contract and the FIDIC Contracts together with the case law, before going on to consider the provisions in the Dutch standard forms, and the law in other jurisdictions. He also considers an example of a maintenance contract and 'temporary disconformity' in the context of termination.

The European Society of Construction Law study - Introduction: early termination - Standard form contract provisions: termination for cause - Standard form contract provisions: termination for convenience - Dutch standard forms - Other jurisdictions - Maintenance contract illustration - Conclusion.

The author: Professor Anthony Lavers LLB, MPhil, PhD, DLitt, FRICS is Counsel in the Construction & Engineering Practice Group in the London office of White & Case LLP and is Visiting Professor of Law at Oxford Brookes University and the University of Portsmouth. He is also a past Chairman of the Society.

Text 17 pages.