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“The most common reason why a contractor is unable to obtain an extension of time or recover additional costs for delays and disruptions to a project is that there is insufficient evidence to support its claim. While it may be possible to support a claim with evidence created after the event, such as witness statements and retrospective analysis, these will be of little help if they are not based on contemporaneous records of what happened at a particular time.

It is therefore vitally important to establishing a proper system on site for keeping records of events and their effects as they occur. But what kind of records do you need to keep?

The type of records that need to be kept will be a combination of records that relate to specific problems as they occur, and those records that should be regularly kept on all projects.” (Kratochvilova, E. (1 March, 2009). Records! Records! Records! Retrieved from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP: http://documents.lexology.com/43cf9bf5-a169- 4877-b7a2-89550cd13b1c.pdf)

Project documents kept on a contemporaneous basis provide an exclusive and permanent record which allows the detailed reconstruction, review, and analysis of events and actions of the project. Documentation is the foundation on which all proposals, disputes, or claims are built. Without documentation, there is essentially no contemporaneous evidence and, therefore, it is difficult to present a persuasive case. Documentation is critical to resolving disputes in two ways.

  1. Documentation provides a contemporaneous record of what was actually happening on a project at any given time during the course of the project.
  2. Documentation provides a contemporaneous record of the parties positions regarding particular events at the time of the event.

Documentation for construction projects generally consist of the following types of documents:

  • REOI and RFP Responses
  • Proposals, Quotations and Bid Submissions
  • Pre-Construction Agreements
  • Consultant Agreements
  • Other Pre-Construction Documentation
  • Contract Negotiation Documentation
  • Supplementary Conditions
  • Due Diligence Documentation
  • Design Development Drawings
  • Issued for Permit Drawings
  • Issued for Construction Drawings
  • Project Specifications
  • Vendor, Supplier, Subcontractors POs, Agreements and Contracts
  • Invoices and Payments
  • Contract Change Orders
  • Contract Change Directives
  • Contract Drawings and Revisions
  • Supplemental Instructions
  • Site Instructions
  • Submittals
  • Schedules
  • Notices
  • Requests for Information (RFIs)
  • Correspondence (external)
  • Correspondence (internal)
  • Memoranda (internal)
  • Meeting Minutes
  • Daily Reports (Field Reports)
  • E-mails
  • Any other electronic job-related documents

In construction, it is often easy to take a “just get it done” attitude and ignore the needed paperwork. However, as the project goes sideways and the battle leaves the construction site and enters the courtroom, the paper trail becomes one of the most significant pieces of evidence is support of your claim. The GeoFocus Group’s niche experience in the analysis, recovery and completion of projects that are delayed, deficient, disturbed or dysfunctional and subsequent litigation that often ensues for such projects provides its team with the unique ability to ensure that a contemporaneous record keeping system is structured at the earliest stages of a development’s lifecycle and maintained throughout. Founded with the advanced knowledge and experience that is typically associated with larger advisory firms, The GeoFocus Group utilizes its size to its advantage. Client-centric services based on industry know-how from boots on the ground experience.

In the current economic climate, contractors and developers are looking to reduce their exposure on all current projects. Owners, Developers and Contractors alike will be taking every opportunity to advance or refuse claims for extensions of time and additional cost, wherever possible.

Whether you are an Owner, Developer, Stakeholder or Contractor – The GeoFocus Group has the personnel and expertise to assist you with your project. From land acquisition through to post-construction closeout, our advisors have participated in all facets of the development and construction lifecycle. Allow our experts to assist you before your project becomes distressed, delayed, disturbed and/or dysfunctional; however, should you be in the midst of a distressed, delayed, disturbed and/or dysfunctional allow our experts to assist you in analyzing, recovering and completing your distressed asset.

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