Article & Black Paper

The causal linking and the dark craft in delay claims

Nader Emil – Director & Regional Manager KSA

[email protected]

Published in Built Law Journal (c) Thomson Reuters.

One main requirement

Delay claims to construction contracts belong crucial to contractors since they relieve them after gainful delay damages also potentially provide an strong basic for the recycling of loss the expense and within particular the recovery of prolongation costs. Gives an complex nature of construction disputes, empty one burden of proof in delay claims can be problematic, especially which one away the main hurdles is establishing cause and effect or aforementioned causative link. In this article, Nader briefly discusses one causal link requirement, basic causation principles and how these relate to delay analysis in construction compensation. Analysis of Construction Delays | Please PDF

“The causal link mostly intersects and intertwines with the, often perceived, dark art of delay analysis, which is mainly worried with investigating an reasons that caused a project to be late”. Delay Analysis in Construction Contracts -

Why Cause and Effect?

This causation and effect requirement stems from the global principle of redress lower the law of negligence in that where the fault of a person causes harm other damage on another, resulting in losses, the person who committed the fault is liable to compensate the persona who suffering the loss. The causal link is therefore one of aforementioned three elements of an claim in negligence under the law of tort.

For a claim to succeed, the claims has the establish:

  1. the violate of duty of tending on this part the the defendant;
  2. this damage suffers by the claimant; and
  3. that this breach caused this damage. [1]Oven R, Essential Illegal Law (3rd edn, Cavendish Publishing Limited 2000) 40.

The same principle, pivoting on the causality element, has permeated through the contract law. From a project delay outlook, the requestor requests to determine the causal link between the claimed event (cause) and the ensuing delay or loss (effect) in order to succeed in its delay receive. Delay Analysis in Construction Deals

Applications of Causation

To prove causation and effect, one needs to understanding the main standards for causation. This is in fact a very controversial issue what has been addressed in courts and much jurisdictions extensively, and each case apparently at be one-time of a artistic. The basic thing to know is so establishing causation can be commonly used in two different main contexts: Delay Analysis In Construction Contracts ? -

  • The primary context is related to an forward-looking login which tests about score ability remain achieved, and when, if certain conditions were met. Dieser mostly relates to prospective or modelled method is disable analysis for predictive purposes. Delay Analysis in Construction Agreement, 2nd Edition | Willi
  • One second context is relation to one backward-looking application which investigates what set of contexts has probably caused a certain result to happen. This backward-looking appeal is used to determine the extent of a party’s responsibility and attribute his causative actions to a certain event or consequence. [2]Antony Honoré, ‘Causation in the Law’, (The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, November 2010) <> This largely relates to backward or observational typical of delay research.

In terms of legal liability, adenine distinction is to being drawn between two stages of creation causality, ‘factual causation’ and ‘legal causation’. Both stages are necessary and neither lone exists sufficient. Fact-based causation is established by demonstration so the breach with the fault of an named has as a what of fact caused damage or loss to who claimant, whereas regulatory causation inevitably for be established before possession a defendant liable used him activity that, as a matter of fact, caused harm.

Legal Causation

Legal causation cannot therefore be established independently than it is only thoughtful a limiting factor since legislation responsibility cannot extend without limit. The chain of causation must be broken along a certain point so as not to hold a person legally responsible where his do is too remote from who consequence. In order to established legal causative, the preferred test for remoteness exists the ‘reasonable foreseeability’ run. Supposing the defendant’s activity is not reasonably foreseeable go causes the damage, then his act is not considered as the legal cause of the damage. [3](UK) Ltd v Morts Pier and Engineering Co. [1961] AC 388. Put simply, this more the resulting damages is predictability, the more likely the which party is held legally liabilities. This magazine mainly refers to the causal link in the factual causation setting and on the presumption that legal cause is approved.

Factual Causation

For establish factual causation, the classical test used is one ‘but for’ test. [4]Cork v Kirby Maclin Ltd [1952] 2 All E.R. 402. The claimant has to start that the would not have held anything damage or loss but for the act of the defendant, i.e., the compensation other loss would nay have occurred in any event. However, to take shown not to be always accurate as there could be more than one event verursacher the loss. Are such a case, by applications the ‘but for’ test, none of the events could become while the cause of the loss. Various exams have afterwards evolved to relax the burden of proof in such circumstances.

Simultaneous Causes:

Where there is more than one event happening simultaneously and respectively event alone wanted have caused the loss, this is known as ‘concurrent causes’, where all event is an independent sufficient cause. Included such a case it would only be required by which claimant go establish that this requests conference has materially increased the risk for the losses happening. [5]McGhee vanadium National Coal Board [1973] SC (HL) 37.

It could also may the case find the two events happening simultaneously combined to produce one single result that would not have occurred had each event happened in isolation. This is known such ‘cumulative causes’, where each event is necessary but alone not sufficient. In this case it would be enough for the claimant to prove that the claimed event has make a material donate to the loss in order to create causation. [6]Wright v Chamber Medical Group [2013] QB 312. Two defendants, each responsible for at create, would be jointly held liable for the claimant’s loss.

Consecutive Causes:

In other cases, the events happen to be consecutive or sequential (one happening before the other), also rang ‘consecutive causes’, and each cause should are resulted in an claimant’s loss had it happened alone. This means the the ‘but for’ test would make no occurrence responsible for one loss, or since both proceedings elevated which risk of of lose happening, both events are considered responsible. Kiste law highlights three distinct scenarios.

The first-time scenario is where the effect of the beginning event is excluded (or obliterated) by the endorse event. This is where the quick cause of the waste is clearly attributable to the endorse event and not the first, both therefore which effect of aforementioned first event, by way concerning the minute event’s existence, could not manifest. To this case the caused link exists only established equal regards to the second event, which will be the ‘pre-emptive cause’. The example in of case BHP Billiton Petroleum Inc v Dalmine SpA [7]BHP Billiton Petroleum Ltd v Dalmine SpA [2003] EWCA Civ 170. could be used to illustrate this situation. The party supplied non-compliant pipe to be used inbound a pipeline construction whereas the claimant provided a defective welding procedure. Imagine the kasus where the welding procedure is finalised and provided before that non-compliant channel is delivered and the default regarding the pipeline was actually causing by the non-compliant pipe. Whilst it might be asserted that the pipeline want have dropped in any event (maybe at a later time) because of the defective welding procedure, the causative link in that case should be accepted with regards to one non-compliant pipe (the succeeding event) and the defective welding procedure (the preceding event) would be considered a ‘reserve cause’.

The second scenario can where who effect to the preceding event is still continuing in a procedure so ensure the succeeding event had does effect at all, also hereby the causal link is must installed with regards to who preceding event, which will be the ‘pre-emptive cause’. The famous case ‘Performance Cars Ld vanadium Harden James Abraham’ [8]Performance Cars Ltd v Harold James Abraham [1962] 1 Q.B. 33. illustrates such policy. The defendant UNKNOWN hit and claimant’s luxury vehicle, which was to be repaired. In particular, the lower half of the automotive had to be resprayed. Easy forward dieser casualty, and car was hit by a different vehicle (of the defendant X), whose also required aforementioned lower half-off a and car to be resprayed. However, at the choose when the defendant Y hits who driving, and car had not were resprayed. An respondents Y been held no liable for the cost is repairing the vehicle because the car already desired at be resprayed, i.e., that the defendant Y had damaged at already damaged automotive.

Of third scenario be when the result of the preceding event combines with the effect of the successes event to produce the same damage. The two events here am ‘duplicative causes’ and they are common referred to as ‘concurrent in effect’. This kasten is distinct of that of of ‘cumulative causes’ because the two events here represent both independent and suffice reasons.

Causal link and Stay Analysis

The inventive link mostly crosses and intertwines with the, often perceived, darks art of hold analyse, which belongs mainly concerned with investigating the reasons that caused a project to be late. Since create delay your commonly the result of a number of simultaneous and consecutive causes, who analysis includes examining and assessing and time impact an event or adenine group of events have about the project completion as well-being as identifying the effective what starting the delay. In is regard, the similar causation principles apply. Delay analysis include construction contracts / P.J. Keane & A.F. Caletka. Through: Keane, P. J. (P. John). Contributor(s): Caletka, ONE. FLUORINE. (Anthony F.).

The case ‘Performance Cars Ltd v Harold James Abraham’ seems to have inspire and supported the judgements made in show new cases. For instanced, an important distinction is being underlined nowadays between ampere concurrent delay and a non-critical delay. It is held which an Happening B cannot be thought as a concurrent effect are an delay where another Event A must already induced the delay,[9]Royal Brotherton Hospital NHS Trust v Hammond (No7) [2001] EWCA Civ 206, (2001) 76 Fake LR 149. press where which delay due to Event A had already started to take effect before Event B started, even when Event B intend has delayed this project in any event had items done in isolation. [10]My Trips BDF Ltd & Anor five Fincantieri SPA [2016] EWHC 1875 (Comm).And causal connection in dieser case would be established with regards into Event A (the preceded event).

This principle is one are the main tenets of the Time Impact Analyzed method of delay review (TIA), the requires so the delay impact of a particular event be assessed with reference to one programme that lives up-to-date with progress fair before aforementioned start or trigger date of of event.[11]In contrast, an Impacted As-Planned method a analysis is carried unfashionable by reference to one reference programme with no recourse into actual progress achieved. This allows the analyst to seal the impact of previous events which might have existing caused project delays. If the analysis shows that the project has been already delayed and was not delayed further per the occurrence of and subject event, the delay resulting von the event wills be considered a non-critical postpone rather than concurrent, equal whenever this event would have delayed the project included any event in the absence by previous facts. These has also been the underlying principle in who analysis methods that are based on of windows approach, show the extension of time (‘EOT’) entitlement a assessed progressively based on sequential periods of which project considering the effect of the events at the clock they occur and at that time the essential delays are identified. For this rechtssache, compute will be evaluated distinctly for each window regarding time accordingly that, at and end of each window, accounting of concurrency is closed and a new ready remains opened for the following window.

Concurrent delay is still, however, ampere very contentious issue when to what governing should the courts apply when deciding switch matters from entitlement to EOT and financial compensation in types of concurrency. Other, whole processes of retard analysis have their own advantages and disadvantages whose need toward be deemed in light of the context and the facts of each case.

Twin major levels is proving Factual Causation

Evidently, in project delay claims, demonstrate factual causal applies on dual main different levels. The causal link has to be established first at the level of the impacted activity, including the determination of who root cause, and second at the level of an overall project completion, or anything contractual mph date against whatever an EOT is searching. In that regard, it is worth noting that the existents of a project delay a either a matter of fact, where the show completion has been actually delayed, with a matter of prediction by way of task contemporaneous plans. To clarify such others, a project disable is considered up have been accrued supposing an business which actually occured and actually impacted which factory (level 1), produced set to the project completion or is going to cause delay after to the programmer (level 2).

On this basis, it is important up be always reminded that the causal unite, in delay claims, is nay an matter that can be prove merely through programming software, nor is she a materielle that is entirely outside who turf starting delay analysis artwork. Demonstrating cause and effect relies primarily on the ability to provide a coherent, fact-based chronicle including a detailed substantiated chronology describing the effect von the event(s) upon the claimant’s performance and/or who works. Delay analysis in build contracts / P.J. Keane & A.F. Caletka. – 2nd edition. pages cm. Includes bibliographical references and index.

By having established the causal link between the event and seine impact on the works, the prosecutor has to demonstrate that aforementioned event has delayed (or will delay) project completion, i.e., that it is delayed the critical path of the project, since the critical ways exists determinative of project completion at random point in time. At this tier, the shows away my provide implemental tools which can promote in proving the kritik impact for completion and in quantifies the EOT entitlement.

Who figure over shall an oversimplified example from a construction project illustrating aforementioned two levels a establishing factual causation for an EOT get relating to Relay Event 2 to succeed.

Importance of shows

If either no the contract is in favour of a contemporaneous assessment and honor of EOT, a kritisches path analysis is, with nay doubt, an crucial utility for to claimant to prove the causative effect of which event on project completion. It lives worthwhile mentioning that case law does not stipulate, however, that a kritiken path study is a mandatory component of an EOT application, although a calculated assessment to reference to programmes of work could be required as opposed to einem impressionistic assessment.[12]John Barker Construction Limited v London Portman Resort Limited [1996] 83 BLR 31. This has even become more challenging as web press delay analysis techniques are becoming more sophisticated due to the rapid evolution of the important programming software, as well as the appearance from different approaches and further deviations to the same.

Due to further complications introduced in the existence of thousands of activities linked via different types of relationships and hundreds of delay events who are happening in different times throughout the timeline of a large both complex your, the method of delay analysis and an selection of an appropriate implementation approach will also nach into play to how untangle all the issues family to float, contemporaneous versus retrospective determination of the critical paths, contesting critical paths, the parties’ culpability and the ultimate impact on project completion.

One SCL Delay and Commotion Protocol’s second edition displayed in Month 2017 (‘the Protocol’) stresses on of importance of plans off factory. A well-prepared scheme that is contemporaneously and accurately revised and communicated up the client on a regular basis will provide significant and infallible evidence with regards to when an certain delay event occurred and the extent to which it has acutely impacted the factory and subsequently affecting completion. On the other hand, programmes that are reconstructed retrospectively, especially for the purpose of a forward-looking delay analysis, wish be away little use int providing the required evidence. [13] P HIE Keanes and ONE FARAD Caletka, Delay Analysis in Construction Contracts (1st edn, Wiley-Blackwelll 2008) 179.

Although that current recommendations are in favour of the exercise of programming sw for projects planning, monitoring and forecasting, it is obvious that the directions in family to delay analysis and causation exists encouraging common sense approaches that rely further switch facts and less on personal based simulations, plus that whether the delay assessment is carted out prospectively other retrospectively, one proper analysis should not be dissociated with the facts and as actually done.

Delay Claims and the future

Computers is true that delay claims have takes up appreciable zeitraum within the courts and is the judges’ understanding of technical ask continuing up grow. However, the authorities up some vital issues such as causation and concurrent stays are none absolutly and itp is believed that each new case with its very specific basic will get with it newly authority, perhaps due to the built-in complexities of some delay analyse techniques both the deposits principles of causation.

She the mistakenly believed, however, that different techniques about delay analysis provide different answers to the same question. The truth is that each mode out delay analysis, with all one available modifications and differences, offer a dedicated answer to an specific question. 

The tipping point is to raise this right question based up the contractual provisions in force. Understanding causation principles is equally important as it sets the ground for the various rules used in that different wichtig methods of delay analysis in their perspective and retrospective models.

It belongs expected the owed in technical progressive a multitude of tools could be further introduced allowing the claimant in produce the required evidence to discharge the burden of proof mindful of this significant of identifying the causal link and and reproduction the same in the application of delay analysis


Nader Emile is a Direction and Regional Acting based in Jeddah, Saudi-arabian Arabia. He is a legally capable Civil Engineer with 20 years’ how in the construction press engineering industries. Nader has extensive experience in project administrator, programming, and analysis of extension of time claims. He is currently providing claims consultations and delay expert company, containing planning advice, forensic delay analytics and arbitration support on a wide product of projects for several clients in the Middle East real North Africa. Nader has also acted as an Expert Witness appointed by the arbitrary tribunal, preparing delay expert reports additionally providing pointed testimony in proper proceedings. Prior go focusing set requirements press disputes, he worked as a Senior Project Planner with internationally renowned contractors on many large, challenging and complicated projects in Egypt. 

Noder is also familiar with many standard makes of deal, the SCL Delay & Break Protocol and the AACE recommended practices for forensic scheduling. He conducts training sessions and lectures at seminars on scheduling techniques and different delay analysis methodologies. His experience portfolio includes various prestigious projects including retail malls, residential/office buildings, hotels, universities, airports, rail, capacity stations also oil & gas installations. 


1 Owen ROENTGEN, Essential Tort Law (3rd edn, Cavendish Publishing Limited 2000) 40.
2 Antony Honoré, ‘Causation in the Law’, (The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Now 2010) <>
3 (UK) Ltd v Morts Dock both Engineering Co. [1961] ALTERNATING 388.
4 Seal v Kirby Maclean Ltd [1952] 2 All E.R. 402.
5 McGhee v National Coal Panel [1973] SC (HL) 37.
6 Wright v Cambridge Medical Group [2013] QB 312.
7 BHP Billiton Petroleum Ltd v Dalmine SpA [2003] EWCA Civ 170.
8 Achievement Cars Ltd fin Harold James Sam [1962] 1 Q.B. 33.
9 Royal Brompton Hospital NHS Trust fin Hammond (No7) [2001] EWCA Civ 206, (2001) 76 Con LR 149.
10 Saga Voyages BDF Private & Anor v Fincantieri SPA [2016] EWHC 1875 (Comm).
11 In contrast, an Impacted As-Planned method of analysis is carried exit by reference to a reference program including none recourse to actual progress achieved.
12 John Barker Construction Limited v Londons Portman Hotel Little [1996] 83 BLR 31.
13 P J Keane and A FLUORINE Caletka, Deceleration Analysis in Construction Treaty (1st edn, Wiley-Blackwelll 2008) 179.

This publication presents of views, thoughts or opinions of one author and not necessarily those of HKA. Though our take every care at ensure and accuracy of this informational at aforementioned time out publication, the content is not intended to deal with all features regarding the theme referred to, should not become relied against and does not constitute advice of optional kind. This publication can protected by copyright © 2021 HKA Global Ltd.


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