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Anthony Lavers

 

Anthony Lavers

ANTICIPATING ACTS OF GOD AND FORESEEING THE UNFORESEEABLE

How the global construction industry has to come to terms with the pandemic Stuff happens. Some of the stuff that happens interferes with the progress of construction projects, preventing them from being completed on time, or at all, in extreme cases.  Ground conditions, weather conditions, earthquakes, fire, strikes, revolutions and wars, to name only a handful.  The parties could do as they did in the past: hoping and no doubt praying that there would be no Act of God and only addressing the consequences when forced to do so by an actual occurrence. But parties embarking on a modern construction project cannot generally afford this fatalistic approach. They require certainty. They require certainty even in relation to uncertainty.

Anthony’s presentation considers how the construction industry internationally has to address a major addition to the list of risks : a pandemic. It examines the nature of the threat posed by the virus itself and the disruption caused by private and public measures to combat it. Antony will reflect on the extent to which events can be characterised as 'unforeseeable' or 'unforeseen' when they have been made the subject of advance contractual provision - examples will be given, as a basis for discussion. Should a contractor be entitled to additional time - and/or additional money - where the pandemic and measures to deal with it, have affected progress? Or is that a risk which a contractor takes?  Should that be a purely commercial question, or a purely legal one? Or is there a moral dimension - what is 'fair' in risk allocation?

The audience will be invited to express their views as well as to ask questions on these crucial issues.

 

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