Javascript is disabled! Please enable it to view this site correctly!


Given the complexities of business and in particular construction and property, it is good to appreciate that there are third party organisations that provide a plethora of information for everyone to use. This information can be that simply published by the government or specialist organisations and societies with a specialist and general knowledge.

Through our work we know how important it can be to stay informed about changes in legislation, etc. Consequently through our own work we have collated some links to some third party websites. Below we have collated some key Q&A and links to third party websites.

Remember not all scenarios are the same so we would always recommend that you take professional advice...

Please use the information that we provide on this page with wisdom and in the manner intended!

Don't forget - click the arrow next to each question for more details and the answers


Some links to third party websites that may be of use to you - remember use them with wisdom and in the manner intended







If you think we have missed off a vital resource and you would like us to considering adding it to the above list, please do not hesitate to contact us.

How We Help

Long list here - but Quantity Surveyors and Project Managers have a breadth of knowledge and connections that can pretty much deal with any eventuality and need!


Contract Law is a body of law that governs oral and written agreements, associated with the exchange of goods and services, money and properties. It includes and embodies topics such as the nature of each parties contractual obligations, limitation of actions, freedom of contract, privity of contract, termination of contract and covers also agency relationships, commercial paper and contracts of employment.

How We Help

Contract Negotiations; Terms and Conditions Review and Commentary;


See also "What is the Purpose of Retention?"

For anyone who has worked in the Construction Industry they will be more than familiar with the term retention and how it works. But for many entering new property developers or home owners looking to extend or do work on their own properties this will be a new concept.

So what actually does "retention" mean in the Construction Industry?

Very simply retention is a percentage (often 5% but can be more) that is deducted from the amount due to a Contractor or Specialist Subcontractor. The amount deducted is retained by the Employer or Client. The period that the amount is retained will be stated in the agreement, however it more often than not follows the following:

  • half of the amount retained is released on certification of practical completion ("substantial Completion" for Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) contracts) and
  • the remainder is released upon certification of making good defects (or "final statement" for many design and build contracts such as those published by the Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT) or those newer contracts under the title of The New Engineering Contract (NEC).

How We Help

Not being paid your retention? We can help you recover this for you.


See also "What is Retention?"

The purpose of retention is to ensure that the contractor (or Specialist Subcontractor) properly completes the activities required of them under the contract.

How We Help

Not being paid your retention? We can help you recover overdue retention monies.


See also "The functions of a PQS or Consultant Quantity Surveyor" & "Contractor's/ Subcontractors Quantity Surveyor"

Quantity Surveying is a profession. The profession is similar to that of a doctor or a lawyer in that it can combine formal qualification with specific training and experience that provides a general set of skills which are then applied to a diverse variety of problems. Quantity Surveyors are often referred to as QS's.

Due to their expert knowledge in Construction Costs and Contracts, QS's work throughout the Construction industry at a professional level.

QS's work in professional quantity surveying practices, and in various other organisations. These include national and local government bodies and agencies, contractors and specialist sub-contractors, developers, financial, legal and insurance companies.

The QSs' role can be very diverse, but generally it is focused upon the management of commercial risks throughout a developments life cycle. This can involve the controlling of costs to ensure Value for Money (VFM), cost certainty, contract/ agreement negotiations and drafting, forecasting what is known as the lifecycle cost of the running and maintenance of a building, through to resolving contractual disputes through ADR. To undertake their roles many QS's are also skilled in Construction Techniques, Project Management and Planning.

How We Help

Plain and simple this one really - We are Quantity Surveyors!


See also "What is a Warranty" & "What is a Indemnity"

Guarantees essentially distribute the risk of defects, which may arise in the products between the parties to an agreement.

For example a simple guarantee when Fred sells products to Wilma could be "....Fred will repair faults and replace parts in equipment supplied by him free of charge for 12 months from the date that he installed the equipment..."

This would therefore only apply for equipment supplied by Fred. It would not include for repairs to equipment supplied by others. Likewise because this simple guarantee only applies to faults in the equipment there will be items excluded, so Fred will not have to replace where the equipment is damaged, etc.

How We Help

Contract Negotiations; Terms and Conditions Review and Commentary;


See also "What is a Guarantee" & "What is a Warranty"

An indemnity is a promise to do something for the other party, should a particular set of circumstances arise. Indemnities are particularly onerous clauses which can significantly expand your liability beyond what you would ordinarily be liable for.

Indemnities can be broad in its application or it can be narrow.

An example of a broad indemnity would be where for example "Fred, entered into an agreement with Wilma. Fred agrees in that agreement to indemnify Wilma for any costs or losses she experienced due to any of Freds actions or inaction".

Narrower indemnity would be would reduced that for example to a specific instance, say where Fred acted negligently.

How We Help

Contract Negotiations; Terms and Conditions Review and Commentary;


"What is a Guarantee" & "What is a Indemnity"

A warranty in essesnce is the same as a Guarantee in that it is a promise for one party to do something should certain circumstances arise.

How We Help

Contract Negotiations; Terms and Conditions Review and Commentary;


If you've operated in construction for any length of time, you've probably come across this somewhere along the line. Often a contract includes a clause that enables one party, normally those issuing the contract to set off any claim or demand for payment that is due to them against any monies it owes you. This basically means that the clause allows the other party to withhold payment or deduct money from amounts that they must pay to you, even this deduction is associated with a claim that is without basis.

Don't forget though even if you strike such a clause out there is a statutory right to set off in some cases.

How We Help

Contract Negotiations; Terms and Conditions Review and Commentary;


A provisional sum is an allowance (or best guess) that is inserted into a tender document or Bill of Quantities for a specific element of the works that has not been fully defined. the sum is inserted to allow the full price of the works to be appreciated. It is expected that the Provisional Sum will be adjusted during the delivery of a project as more information about the scope of the work becomes available. In the majority of construction agreements this means that the Employer takes the risk of the provisional Sum not being sufficient or the benefit if it is too much.

How We Help

Contract Negotiations; Terms and Conditions Review and Commentary;


Not to be mixed up with Provisional Sums, a prime cost sum (PC or PC sum) is an allowance for the supply of work or materials to be provided by a specialist contractor or a supplier that will be nominated by the client (that is, a supplier that is selected by the client to carry out an element of the works and imposed on the main contractor after the main contractor has been appointed). The allowance is exclusive of any profit mark up or attendance (such as material handling, scaffolding and rubbish clearance, etc.) which the main contractor will need to ensure is included as part of their preliminaries and fees.

How We Help

Contract Negotiations; Terms and Conditions Review and Commentary;