- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 24 Nov 2014
Best endeavours v reasonable endeavours
Many construction industry practitioners will have been confronted with a contract which requires the parties to use 'best' or 'reasonable' endeavours in performing obligations under the contract. This apparently minor difference however presents a real risk to a party if they are unaware of the difference in legal interpretation between the two terms.
Evidently an obligation to use 'best endeavours' implies a higher degree of commitment to perform a particular task when compared to 'reasonable endeavours' but, as is often the case, it is only when a contract dispute arises and Court proceedings follow that the reality of the difference becomes apparent.
- To leave no stone unturned.
- To do what is reasonably to be expected in the circumstances.
- Not to do anything that will jeopardise the commercial interests of the obligor.
Behind these definitions lies an expectation of what might be done to ensure that these obligations are met.
In the case of best endeavours it may be the case that a party has to commit extra resources or spend additional funds in order to meet the obligation, even to the extent that it is commercially damaging to the party concerned. Where the obligation is reasonable it is unlikely that this degree of obligation would be applied by the Courts.
For the purposes of the layman, however, one can point to certain more simple facts:
- Reasonable endeavours will be less onerous than best endeavours.
- If a contract sets out specific steps to be taken as part of a reasonable obligation, ensure that these steps are indeed carried out. This is regardless of commercial considerations.
This article was created by: --Martinc 14:11, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Duty of care.
- Duty to warn.
- Fitness for purpose.
- Good faith.
- Good faith – good grief.
- Reasonable skill and care.
Featured articles and news
When is there a right to light, and what happens if it is obstructed?
What would the nationalisation of economic infrastructure mean for GB?
A new guide to improving value by reducing design error.
We've reached 80,000 page views a day and 10,000 registered users. Why not join them?
A masterplan is a framework within which a location is encouraged to develop or change. Read our introductory article.
New consultation announced on a specialist Housing Court to settle landlord-tenant disputes.
ICE responds to a transport consultation advising the government to make decisions enabling more inclusive cities.
BRE and Loughborough University complete first phase refurbishment of demonstration home.
How the risk of collapse of fibrous plaster ceilings is being addressed in theatres.
If you’re a great writer and have practical experience of the construction industry, it could be you.
Frustrated by long documents or technical jargon? Put off by sign-up forms or costs? Take this 5 min survey to help improve construction knowledge.