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Looking at claims through a new paradigm

Looking at claims through a new paradigm

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It is a commonly felt that submitting a claim against an owner is tantamount to cutting off the hand that feeds you and should be avoided at all costs. While submission of a claim should never be taken lightly, claims are typically the contract prescribed remedy for resolving contractual disputes between the parties and therefore should be employed precisely as the contract specifies, without exception This paper examines the Disputes Clause (FAR 52.233-1), common to most federal construction contracts and discusses the value to both parties of prompt and proper submission of claims to the owner and the significant disadvantages when claims are submitted late or only at the end of the project. Put in the proper perspective, the earlier project disputes are brought forward to the owner, the more likely these disputes can be mitigated and have the best chance to have minimal or no impact to the project. Contractors and owners should embrace the claims process as a contract remedy that allows work to proceed, keep a project progressing on schedule, while allowing fair and judicious resolution of contractor/owner disputes. The contracting community needs a new paradigm in the manner in which claims are viewed and pursued.

Nickolas Florez

Associate Vice President for Nan Inc.

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