Complex construction projects that use traditional procurement practices are often impacted by significant cost overruns and delays. Early contractor involvement (ECI) is a concept that strives to involve the contractor collaboratively at an early stage of a project’s development to mitigate or otherwise eliminate those risks. In August 2022, PIANC published the report “A framework for early contractor involvement in infrastructure projects” to help industry practitioners in choosing and best implementing ECI. This article is intended to develop on key aspects of the PIANC report and look at the factors that can lead to a successful maritime ECI project.
This article reviews various court cases over the past 50 years and considers their influence on marine infrastructure contracts and the allocation of risk between contract parties. The establishment of case law and legal precedent is an ever-evolving process, it being dependent on claimants to put their disputes through the court process to seek the outcome they desire. It is often a long and costly process. The rise of adjudication in various common law jurisdictions and countries means that often disputes are resolved without recourse to the courts and various industry standard contracts have arbitration as the final and binding mechanism to resolve disputes.