The enhanced claims provisions of the 2017 FIDIC contracts

3rd October 2019


In December 2017, the long-awaited updates of the 1999 editions of the FIDIC Red, Yellow and Silver books were launched with much fanfare. Regular users of the 1999 editions may perhaps have been expecting a leaner and more user-friendly version of the contracts; if so, they were to be disappointed.

One of the principal intents of the drafters of the updated forms is to provide users with clarity, transparency and certainty, so as to reduce the risk of disagreements regarding the interpretation of terms. The achievement of this intent has resulted in the updated forms containing at least 50 per cent more words and the introduction of significantly more prescriptive, complex, and particularly for the non-native English user, often difficult to understand provisions.

This review of the enhanced claims provisions of the updated contracts identifies potential areas of concern and how easily deficient application of terms could quickly lead to disagreement, dispute and delayed recovery of, or loss of, entitlement.

The review is based on the FIDIC Red Book, Conditions of Contract for Construction, 2017 Edition.


Simon Longley is a Chartered Quantity Surveyor and non-practising Barrister with more than 25 years’ experience in contract, claims and disputes management on major civil engineering, infrastructure, transportation and power projects, both in the United Kingdom and internationally.

Simon has held senior management positions with both contractors and consultants and has worked on projects in Bahrain, Bulgaria/Romania, Finland, Monaco, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

Simon is regularly appointed as client advisor and representative for alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proceedings, particularly in relation to dispute adjudication board and contract adjudication under the FIDIC and NEC forms of contract, dealing with all aspects of procedure and written and oral advocacy of case.

This publication presents the views, thoughts or opinions of the author and not necessarily those of HKA. Whilst we take every care to ensure the accuracy of this information at the time of publication, the content is not intended to deal with all aspects of the subject referred to, should not be relied upon and does not constitute advice of any kind. This publication is protected by copyright © 2019 Thomson Reuters and Contributors.

Preventing disputes on the time barring of claims being referred to the DAB absent a determination of the full claim appears both counterproductive and potentially wasteful in terms of time and cost if the time barring of the claim is subsequently upheld by the DAB.”
Simon Longley, Partner, HKA