Extensions of Time: the Conflict Between the 'Prevention Principal'

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Hamish Lal

April 2002

A paper based on the second prize winning entry in the Hudson Prize
Competition 2001 presented to the Society of Construction Law in London
on 9th April 2002.

The author asks whether the employer can exercise the contractual rights
and remedies ordinarily available to him when the contractor has failed
to meet the completion date in the following situation: the employer has
caused a delay to the contractor’s progress but the contractor fails
to submit a notice or claim for the extension of time commensurate with
the notice requirements clause in the contract, where it is stated to
be a condition precedent that such notice be given. He looks at the conflict
between the strict adherence to notice requirements and the principle
that a party can not rely on its wrong (the ‘prevention principle’).

Introduction – Summary – Part A: the English law approach
– The prevention principle – Construing notice requirement
as a condition precedent – The standard forms of contract –
Part B: Australian and Scottish law – In favour of the prevention
principle: Gaymark Investments – In favour of notice requirements:
City Inn Ltd – Part C: Prevention principle or notice requirements?

The author: Dr Hamish Lal is a solicitor at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

Text 14 pages.

PDF file size: 207k

Paper number: 
April 2002 printed/online, 207k

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