Record Breaking FIDIC Webinar – the gold standard for projects attracts 1,600 attendees

Haroon Niazi, Partner and Head of HKA Middle East was delighted to be invited onto the panel of the latest event in FIDIC’s Covid-19 2021 webinar series took place on 8 June 2021 with an event looking at the key advantages and benefits of using the various forms of FIDIC contracts and, crucially, how to make the most of them, writes FIDIC communications advisor Andy Walker.

In the Middle East changes occur, these need to be made in accordance with FIDIC’s Golden Principles to safeguard the veracity of contracts. HKA’s research in the CRUX 2020 publication, reveals from over 300 projects the top 3 common causes of disputes are change of scope, contract interpretation and late design information.

Haroon Niazi, Partner and Head of HKA Middle East

The webinar, “FIDIC contracts – the gold standard for projects”, was attended by 1,000 people on Zoom with more than 600 others watching live on You Tube. The event looked at why FIDIC contracts were widely and increasingly seen as the gold standard for global infrastructure, engineering and construction projects and the benefits and confidence that they bring to all parties.

The webinar was moderated by FIDIC chief executive Nelson Ogunshakin and the speakers included Pablo Laorden, Managing Partner at Lámbal Abogados in Spain, Karen Gough, Barrister and Attorney-at-law at 39 Essex Chambers in the UK, Haroon Niazi, Partner and Head of Middle East at HKA in the United Arab Emirates, Ellis Baker, Partner and Global Head of construction and engineering at White & Case in the UK and Daduna Kokhreidze, FIDIC’s general counsel.  

Haroon Niazi said that those who weren’t currently using FIDIC contracts were missing out and they needed to get on board. Asked about the issue of the disputes mechanism in FIDIC contracts not appearing to be as effective in preventing issues in the Middle East, Niazi said that the role of the engineer was crucial especially when contracts amendments were being contemplated. “In the Middle East we do like to change things,” he said while stressing that any changes needed to be made in accordance with FIDIC’s Golden Principles to safeguard the veracity of contracts.

There were literally hundreds of questions posted in the Zoom chat and also on You Tube and it was impossible to address them all, though the panellists were worked hard by the webinar chair and a wide range of issues were covered during a lively Q&A session. Some of the questions raised included, what to do when the FIDIC Golden Principles were violated, the role of Covid on the future development of contracts, the role of the DAABs and who pays for them, how FIDIC should respond contractually to the green agenda, how FIDIC was working with the multinational deveopment banks and many more.

Summing up the discussion, Karen Gough said that it was important for FIDIC to innovate and “stay ahead of the competition” to remain the gold standard for contracts. Ellis Baker said that FIDIC’s contracts needed to be responsive to market changes to stay relevant while Haroon Niazi highlighted the need for contracts to incorporate a “behavioural element” into contracts. Pablo Laorden stressed the need to debunk people’s fears about using FIDIC contracts and persuade them that they were proven documents in the marketplace. “We need to reflect on the market needs and dynamics and reflect on all the feedback we receive from users,” said FIDIC’s Daduna Kokhreidze, who highlighted that she would be delighted to receive that feedback direct from the attendees of the webinar.


HKA is the world’s leading consultancy of choice for multi-disciplinary expert and specialist services in risk mitigation and dispute resolution within the capital projects and infrastructure sector.  

We also have particular experience advising clients on the economic impact of commercial and investment treaty disputes and in forensic accounting matters. In addition, HKA supports companies that conduct business with the US Federal Government, providing them with consulting services on complex government contracting matters. 

As trusted independent consultants, experts and advisors, we deliver solutions amid uncertainty, dispute and overrun, and provide the insights that make the best possible outcomes a reality for public and private sector clients worldwide. 

HKA has in excess of 1,000 consultants, experts and advisors in more than 40 offices across 17 countries.  

For more information about HKA, visit and connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter (@HKAGlobal) and Facebook.


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