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A FIDIC Overview in English Drucken E-Mail

Highlighting the ever-growing interest in the use of FIDIC contracts, the World Bank and other multilateral development banks recommend FIDIC standard forms of contract. A recent example of this never ending development is that the government of Romania recently signed a licence agreement with FIDIC to allow translated General Conditions of FIDIC contracts to be adopted into legislation as the country's benchmark contracts for infrastructure projects. In other eastern European countries FIDIC has become a common feature for the awarding of contracts for major projects. Unfortunately over the last few years the construction industry has been suffering from low margins. The quality and extent of reliable pre-tender information decreases subsequently. Thus contractors have had difficulties in making projects fully profitable. The reasons for this are:  

  1. Contractors encounter poor tender documents and badly prepared projects.
  2. Contractors are not always adequately compensated for all additional work that occurs

during the course of a project.

If and when contracts are awarded upon FIDIC standard forms of contract as is the case in most eastern European countries, additional handicaps exist:

  1. Contractors and Employers are sometimes unfamiliar with FIDIC forms of contract, in particular in civil law countries.
  2. Contractors are often unfamiliar with the FIDIC contract management features and procedures, in particular in civil law countries.
  3. Employers often encounter the same problems and do not make appropriate financial arrangements to cover these.

Tender documents are often found to be not carefully prepared. Thus frequently contractual documents such as drawings, specifications and requirements are revised several times and changes in design have become a common fact. Due to poor pre-contractual information and inaccurate tender documents many events arise which were unforeseen at tender stage. Thus in today’s construction projects the contractor’s project management includes handling a huge number of variations and additional work. The contractor has to be aware of the appropriate ways of dealing with all these events and circumstances effectively by managing the duties, obligations and opportunities of the contract. He will be busy from the outset until the end of the defects liability period. Whilst most claims are based on the contract, sometimes he must rely on the applicable law in order to overcome difficulties and challenges. FIDIC’s traditional approach has been to give authority to an independent and skilled third party to the contract, the so called Engineer, in order to ensure that the contract will be managed effectively in the endeavour of reaching a good result holding a fair balance between both of the parties. Unfortunately employers who are not familiar with such a third party to the contract misunderstand its role and expect the Engineer to be his man on the site ignoring fairness, independence and sometimes also the needs of the project. This may lead to time-consuming disputes with the likelihood of a complete project collapse.

VBI, the German member associations of FIDIC, has decided in 2006 to support the international business and to improve and deepen the knowledge of its members, the German consulting engineers. Contractors, employers and lawyers are also welcome. The great success of the German speaking seminars, being largely appreciated by consultants, employers and contractors alike, have encouraged Nestor to enlarge the seminar programme and to offer English speaking seminars for non native English speakers, especially from Eastern Europe.

These seminars will give a profound introduction to FIDIC conditions and its basic concepts for civil law engineers, employers and lawyers. It will also review the procedure for claims and disputes under FIDIC contracts and explain the legal entitlements of the contractor. A particular item is the understanding of the role of the Engineer under FIDIC forms of contract. The seminars will also focus on the specific features of dispute resolution in international construction contracts and explore practical implications and current developments in Europe. All participants will receive a set of Power Point slides and an English script. VBI & Nestor have secured the expertise of Mr. Axel Volkmar Jaeger who is an eminent and experienced consultant and the former past Chairman of the FIDIC Contracts Committee and Dr. Götz-Sebastian Hök, a well known and skilled lawyer specialised in FIDIC contract forms, having published German and French translations of FIDIC standard forms and a considerable number of articles in German and English, such as Hök, The FIDIC Red Book harmonised version, ICLR 2006, 405; Hök, Difficulties encountered in the English-French translation of FIDIC´s Standard Form Contracts, ICLR 2007, 271 The Nestor FIDIC courses will focus on giving a comprehensive introduction to the FIDIC Rainbow Edition, 1999, including


  • the FIDIC RED BOOK being a contract form where the design is made by the Employer and the Contractor is paid on a measurement basis. Thus, the Red Book follows the traditional procurement route of Design, Bid & Build. The Accepted Contract Amount is based on estimated quantities. The Contractor is paid for the actual quantities of work he carried out.
  • the FIDIC YELLOW BOOK being a Design & Build Contract form where the design shall be made by the Contractor. Thus, the Yellow Book follows the design & Build procurement route. The Accepted Contratc Amount is a lump sum price.
  • the FIDIC SILVER BOOK being a Design & Build Contract form where the design shall be made by the Contractor. Thus, also the Silver Book follows the design & Build procurement route. The Accepted Contratc Amount is a lump sum price. Unlike the Yellow Book the Silver book is not deemed to be a balanced contract. The Contratcor bears most of the typical risk.


For further information about English speaking seminars please contact:



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Further information will be available at:

Andrea Gabrielczyk
Nestor Services GmbH
Büro: Alt - Blankenburg 1a
D - 13129 Berlin

Telefon: +49 (0)30 / 47 40 96 - 10
Telefax: +49 (0)30 / 47 40 96 - 26
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© Dr. Götz-Sebastian Hök, Rechtsanwalt in Berlin