- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 19 Feb 2018
Unliquidated damages are damages that are payable for a breach of contract, the exact amount of which has not been pre-agreed. This is in contrast with liquidated damages which are a pre-agreed when the contract is entered into.
Construction contracts generally include a provision for the contractor to pay liquidated damages (or liquidated and ascertained damages, sometimes referred to as LADs) to the client in the event of a breach of contract - typically failing to complete the construction works by the completion date set out in the contract.
Unliquidated damages are a form of compensation which is said to be ‘at large’, that is, the amount is not predetermined with the contract is entered into, but is determined by a court (either a judge or jury) after the breach has occurred.
In standard form construction contracts, parties will sometimes insert ‘NIL’ or ‘n/a’ for the rate for liquidated damages, if they do not wish to claim liquidated damages, however, this can imply that losses for unliquidated damages are also nil. If parties wish to exclude liability for liquidated damages, they must state this clearly in the contract to avoid ambiguity, either stating that unliquidated damages apply, or deleting the clause altogether.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Breach of contract.
- Collateral warranty.
- Completion date.
- Damages in construction contracts.
- Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Co Ltd v New Garage and Motor Co Ltd.
- Liquidated damages.
- Liquidated v unliquidated damages.
- Measure of damages.
- Practical completion.
- The distinction between liquidated damages clauses and penalty clauses.
Featured articles and news
How to ensure UK transport infrastructure copes with severe winter weather.
Location shortlist for controversial new footbridge revealed.
Under the Party Wall Act a property owner has the legal right to do works that might otherwise constitute trespass or nuisance.
BSRIA examine the 'unpredictable' 2018 global air conditioning market.
ICE publish new report calling for new sector-wide body to help avert structural failures.
The rainbow JCB will be making a welcome return to the London Build Expo on 23 and 24 October at Olympia.
An introductory article to external works - all activities carried out to the external environment of a building project.
With the clock ticking, RIBA say that a 'no deal Brexit' will be "disastrous" for the architecture profession.
The focus is generally on the lime binder, but the aggregate is actually the most significant element.
The importance of communication, collaboration and simplicity when planning construction projects.