BOOK REVIEW: CONTRACTS FOR CONSTRUCTION AND ENGINEERING PROJECTS SECOND EDITION
By Dr Donald Charrett BE(Hons), LLB(Hons), MConstLaw, PhD, ProfCertArb, Dip International Arbitration, FIEAust, FCIArb. Published by Informa Law from Routledge, December 2021. Pages: 520. ISBN: 9781032073835. Price: £150.00.
I commence by highly commending Dr Donald Charrett’s Second Edition to all professionals involved in the planning, structuring and management of construction projects. This is both a valuable academic book and a hands-on practical book. Dr Charrett is admirably qualified to have written this book because of his international experience as an engineer, barrister, arbitrator and mediator.
The book’s cleverly structured format into five parts enables quick access to the particular topic you are interested in and provides easy and very informative reading on that topic. Each chapter commences with a brief introduction, which is followed with quite detailed analyses and explanations, findings and lessons, backed by case studies, and finishes with a concise but clear conclusion. This structure makes it a very readable book, because it enables the reader to quickly review the contents of a chapter before delving into the real detail in its body. What I have found really interesting is that with each topic the author(s) delve into “why” you should do something, not just the “what” that you should do, in order to not only comply with the established laws and regulations in different global jurisdictions, but also to achieve “best practice” in respect of drafting appropriate contracts and the broad range of issues that must be considered and included.
The Introduction in chapter 1 contains an executive summary that is particularly helpful to readers looking for specific topics. For e-Book readers each summary contains direct links to the section of the book they require. The chapter also reviews the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the construction industry and the measures that governments have been taking to ameliorate the situation.
Part 1 comprises chapters 2–10 on the engineer and the contract. Chapter 2 is essentially about the “rise” of project managers and the “decline” of Engineers and engineers in respect of contract administration and it contains supporting case studies. Time, cost and quality, “the engineer’s eternal challenge”, the subject of chapter 3 is at the heart of all construction projects. Dr Charrett explores the wide-ranging implications of time cost and quality being managed well or badly. His explanations are well supported by some really notable case studies on cost overruns. Risk and construction contracts in chapter 4 really caught my “reviewer’s eye”. I have spent a large part of my career advocating that the contract is the primary risk management and risk minimisation tool when the objectives and expectations of the key