Steve Sedgley, retired from professional football in 2000 with a knee injury, concluding a flamboyant and successful career at premier league Tottenham Hotspur FC and other football clubs.
When he returned to the UK in 2005, Steve retrained and started his own construction company Steve Sedgley Contracts Limited and in 2010 won a Disaster Repair contract to reinstate a residential property that had suffered extensive fire damage. The repair contract to complete the scope of work in the Fire Report was worth around £180,000 and was set up under a regular Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT) ‘Standard Form of Building Contract’.
During the course of the project, the client and owner of the residential property where Steve’s construction team were working, requested a large number of changes to the restoration work and additional work, which Steve and his team completed to the satisfaction of the client. Steve undertook this work in good faith under verbal agreements with the client, but made the mistake of not implementing change control procedures: documenting the change requests and obtaining formal approval to proceed. With this lack of financial control and management of client expectations on the cost of the extra work, which amounted to around £100,000, a contract dispute was almost inevitable. When the final invoice was presented to the client, they were not happy.
Steve was under pressure and sought legal advice from his lawyer on how to resolve this contract dispute, which was having a major impact on his business. He was introduced by his lawyer to Paul Smart of TEAM CS a highly experienced project manager and quantity surveyor with over 35 years in the construction industry and a specialist in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).
Paul immediately took control and informed Steve’s client that they would be taking the contract dispute to Adjudication. In response the client appointed their own lawyer, who, incidentally, managed the JCT Minor Contracts on behalf of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), to defend their position. An application was also made to RICS to appoint an independent and impartial Adjudicator to review the case.
Meanwhile, Paul was building a formidable and detailed portfolio of evidence including photographs, supply invoices and retrospective valuations for 48 points of dispute to capture the full extent of the work Steve and his construction team had completed.
The Adjudicator carefully evaluated the portfolio of evidence prepared by Paul and awarded in favour of Steve on 43 of the 48 case points, which resulted in a recovery of the full value of the original contract and around 80% of the extra work. All costs of the Adjudication, around £10,000, were awarded against the client. Steve’s position was vindicated. Paul had delivered the result.
The impact of the contract dispute on Steve’s business was, however, severe and shortly afterwards Steve Sedgley Contracts Limited went into administration.
Steve learnt a valuable lesson on the importance of contract management and incorporated a new company COYS Construction Limited with Paul Smart as the Project Manager and Quantity Surveyor.
Steve commenting on the way he now operates his business said: “Paul makes sure that everything is done in a professional manner. There have been no disputes. We are covered. Clients are happy and we are building a strong reputation for quality Disaster Repair restoration work.”
“We aim to provide inexpensive top-quality support that brings simplicity to Dispute Resolution and Dispute Prevention within the Construction Industry.”
“We provide a wide range of clean-up and restoration options for both residential home and business owners where disaster has struck and Disaster Repair services are needed.”
© TEAM (Construction Support) Ltd July 2014
“Paul makes sure that everything is done in a professional manner. There have been no disputes. We are covered. Clients are happy and we are building a strong reputation for quality Disaster Repair restoration work.”
Steve Sedgley (Managing Director) of COYS Constuction Limited