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Last edited 18 Oct 2018
Loss and expense
Construction contracts will generally provide for the contractor to claim direct loss and/or expense as a result of the progress of the works being materially affected by relevant matters for which the client is responsible, such as:
- Failure to give the contractor possession of the site.
- Failure to give the contractor access to and from the site.
- Delays in receiving instructions.
- Opening up works or testing works that then prove to have been carried out in accordance with the contract.
- Discrepancies in the contract documents.
- Disruption caused by works being carried out by the client.
- Failure by the client to supply goods or materials.
- Instructions relating to variations and expenditure of provisional sums.
- Inaccurate forecasting of works described by approximate quantities.
- Issues relating to CDM.
The contractor must give written notice of a claim as soon as it becomes reasonably apparent that the regular progress of the works is being materially affected. This need not necessarily result in a delay to the completion date, and so claims for loss and expense and claims for extensions of time do not necessarily always run together.
Claims are restricted to 'direct' loss and expense and so 'consequential losses' (such as lost production) are generally excluded. Direct losses are those that 'flow naturally' from the breach of contract.
There is disparity between contract types about whether items such as head office overheads can be included in claims for loss and expense, and some court rulings have allowed such claims. If there are specific consequential losses which the parties to the contract wish to exclude, it may be prudent therefore to state these explicitly within the contract.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Causes of construction disputes.
- Civil procedure rules.
- Concurrent delay.
- Consequential loss.
- Contract claims.
- Cost overruns.
- Dispute resolution.
- Disruption claims in construction.
- Extension of time.
- Force majeure.
- Head office overheads.
- Henry Boot Construction Ltd v Alstom Combined Cycles.
- Liquidated damages.
- Named specialist work.
- Payment for extra work.
- Professional indemnity insurance.
- Profit and overheads.
- Provisional sums.
- Relevant event.
- Right to payment.
- The distinction between liquidated damages clauses and penalty clauses.
- What is a default?
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