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Working Exclusively With Specialist Contractors

Experts In Construction Law and Construction Contracts

Contractual Advice

Contracts, Warranties and Bonds

The myriad variations of construction contracts and sub-contracts and associated warranties and bonds can be extremely confusing.

Ashmore Consulting provide authoritative advice on the drafting, interpretation and selection of the appropriate standard and other forms of contract, bespoke contracts, terms of professional engagement, warranties, bonds and supply contracts.

We can help you to identify risks and opportunities from the time of tender through to final account, and provide advice on your contractual position ensuring you protect your interests and maximise your contractual and financial entitlements.

Our professional opinion on the contractual position of all contracts, warranties and bonds during their currency, together with strategic advice on the administration and contract management will enable you to maximise your entitlements and recoveries, and protect your overhead and profit margins.

We work exclusively with Specialist Contractors and have a thorough understanding of your needs in respect of the drafting, interpretation and selection of the appropriate standard and other forms of contract, and provide advice on the selection of the most suitable contract to meet your needs on every project.

We can provide user-friendly interpretation of the standard forms of contract, and bespoke contracts commonly used by all the major Contractors.

Our clients benefit from our 40 plus years in construction, and the 25 years of professional experience Ashmore Consulting have gained advising Specialist Contractors on a broad range of contracts covering civil engineering, building, process, and petrochemical projects.

"Barry has advised my company on a number of contract related issues both in advance of signing contracts and after the event when difficulties have occurred. He gives sound practical advice and helps us to make the final decision based on that advice.

I happily recommend them."

Mark Bidwell - Terex Material Handling & Port Solutions (UK) Ltd

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Contract Vetting

Standard Form contracts such as JCT, MF/1, NEC3 etc. were created to be easy to understand, simple to use, and fair to both parties and should need little or no amendment. When Contractors start talking about drafting amendments or even creating their own ‘bespoke’ contracts, then you know you need to have your wits about you!

If the Contractor has amended a Standard Form contract or sent a bespoke contract, the likelihood is not a single one of those amendments or terms were written in the Specialist Contractor’s favour.

It’s therefore vital that the contract is vetted before you enter into it. Rushing into a contract without understanding its terms can be fatal.

Our expert team of advisors are here to help. They can review your contract and highlight the onerous terms that will put you at a distinct disadvantage and increase your risk as a Specialist Contractor.

"I have known Barry for years and worked with him several times. He gives me advice on customer specific contracts for major material handling automation projects in the UK.

I really like Barry's pragmatic approach - he usually finds a quick, agreeable and practical solution based on a wealth of experience in my industry. In addition he somehow manages to meet the tight time lines I usually have to set for the work we do together."

Sigurd Volker - (Managing Director) Dürkopp Fördertechnik GmbH

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Contractual Advice and Interpretation

Whether you are negotiating or drafting contractual clauses, it’s important to know what you are dealing with.

We know reading those contracts over and over can be time consuming and confusing, and you can easily miss things that will come back to haunt you later. That’s why we’re here to help and do the tedious work for you!

We can offer contractual advice at any stage, with our contractual experts on standby to help whenever you need it.

Getting contractual advice in the negotiation stages of your contracts can help to protect your business and prevent issues arising down the line.

If a contractual issue does arise, we can offer advice on how to best to resolve your problem in the most cost effective way for your individual situation.

"I worked with Barry on several orders where his detailed examination of proposed customer contracts, his highlighting of potential risks and suggestions for changes that could be accepted by my company and the customer (the win-win goal), proved invaluable.

To be able to speak to someone who can go through a very detailed contract, which were quite often written in confusing legal speak, then explain the risks and meaning in a clear and understandable way is very reassuring, and I would recommend Barry for this kind of work anytime."

Jason Dixon - (Head of Project Management) Fujian Huisman Steel Manufacturing Co Ltd

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Negotiating Acceptable Terms

Negotiating acceptable terms in a construction contract can be complicated.

If you don’t feel 110% confident that the terms of a contract are fair and reasonable (which if the Contractor has his way they won’t be), then you should do your utmost to negotiate these terms.

Contractors will often have contractual "experts" pushing to get the terms that benefit them (and most likely do NOT benefit you the Specialist Contractor) into the agreement. That’s why you should have your own contractual experts on side to make sure you don’t lose out in those negotiations.

Our team of experts can advise and support you in contract negotiations with Contractors and Clients and make sure you don’t sign a one-sided agreement that will come back to bite you later.

And, because we live in the real world, we know that not all onerous terms and conditions can be negotiated out, and in cases where they can’t be removed we will offer advice on how to best manage them during the course of the job.

"His attention to detail and his passion to help the specialist contractor in often difficult circumstances has been invaluable. Barry is very hands on in his approach which is a welcome attribute for any consultant."

Chris Arkwell - CDI Group Ltd

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Commercial Advice and Analysis

Our aim is to provide you with successful commercial outcomes. We will provide you with support across all areas of commercial management, either stand-alone or supplementing the knowledge you have in-house.

We can help you to get agreement on variations and interim and final accounts, and get the financial side of things cleared up without the need to adjudicate.

Helping you to manage contracts from a commercial point of view, will enable you to achieve a successful commercial outcome.

We can draft contractual letters and notices on your behalf, help you with project valuations, carry out negotiations, and agree accounts for you.

We can also assist you to develop appropriate commercial strategies, and manage or mentor the staff you have in place to help them achieve better financial outcomes.

"Buckle & Davies would like to thank Ashmore Consulting for their guidance and support in resolving a difficult contractual dispute.

Ashmore Consulting provide a professional and friendly service to sub-contractors working in what is currently a confrontational industry."

Jon Merrifield - Buckle & Davies Construction Ltd, Civils & Hard Landscaping Contractors

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Contract Drafting

A wide range of contracts are used in the construction and engineering industry. Ashmore Consulting’s specialist construction expertise enables us to draft contracts that ensure your company’s interests are protected.

Bonds, guarantees and warranties must be drafted with precision to avoid unnecessary risks. Contracts need to be clear and comprehensive so that the complex relationships between all parties are successfully managed.

Ashmore consulting have the skills needed to draft effective contracts, bonds, warranties, guarantees, and settlement agreements.

We have a powerful blend of construction and commercial skills, and makes us the ideal partner to provide advice and assistance to Specialist Contractors of all sizes, and across all trades.

Our years of experience give us a sound understanding of how to interpret the terms in construction contracts and ensure everyone’s responsibilities, are clearly set out.

We are experts in UK contracts, collateral warranties, performance bonds, and guarantees.

We work closely with our clients to understand their business objectives, and ensure you negotiate favourable contracts, terms of appointment, and agreements.

"Whether you require advice i) on the terms of a contract that you are about to enter into; ii) on a contract you are currently working under or iii) assistance with trying to extricate yourself from financial Armageddon brought on by not speaking to him at points i) or ii), you will find him clear and concise.

Barry Ashmore comes with my highest recommendation and should the need arise I would not hesitate to use or recommend his services to any Specialist Contractor within the construction industry."

Joe Makepeace - Hirst and Danson Group Ltd

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Management Procedures

Proper management of construction works is vital to the success of your operation.

There are various management procedures that must be followed when managing a Specialist Contracting operation in order to ensure the project is completed on time within budget and to the correct standard.

Getting the work in, sales and marketing, advertising, employing people, organising labour, sub-contractors, direct employees, buying materials, health and safety, accounts, VAT, correspondence, e-mails, design information, insurance, contracts, warranties, retention, getting paid, bad debts, variations, and delay and disruption are just some of the issues you might need procedures for.

There is also a minefield of issues to avoid where the Contractor’s own procedures are concerned.

With our expert advice on construction management procedures for Specialist Contractors you will ensure maximum success and profitability.

"Many thanks for your recent advice regarding our contractual problem and your prompt, straightforward advice regarding applications, dayworks and more.

I feel genuinely re-assured having found your site and the backup provided from you and your team."

Reg Burgess - Painting Subcontractor

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Standardised Documentation

It is often advisable, where possible, to use Standard Form contracts and other standardised documentation on projects. These documents are negotiated by various construction bodies to ensure the risks and responsibilities are shared fairly between the parties.

They also save time and money spent on negotiations needed when drafting a new contract from scratch or heavily amending a standard form contract.

There are a wide range of standard form documents available for Specialist Contractors. If you would like help and advice on choosing the right standard form documentation for your job, talk to our team of contractual experts.

"Barry's expertise and professionalism have helped me both professionally and personally, I highly recommend Barry and his team."

Colin Astil - Protec Fire Detection PLC

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Quantity Surveying

At its simplest the Quantity Surveyor’s role is to manage the costs and value of the project, and deal with all commercial and contractual matters from the outset through to the final account.

We specialise in supporting Specialist Contractors and can provide quantity surveying assistance depending on your exact needs. We can provide resources on an ad-hoc basis, provide additional resources to an existing commercial department, or fulfil the role of an entire commercial department if one doesn’t exist. We can provide advice and support on:

Project Strategy, Tender Negotiations, Contract Management, Change Management, Risk Management, Procurement Strategy, Trade and Material Procurement, Interim Valuations/Final Accounts, Change Controls, Variation Management, Project Audit/Cost Reporting, Dispute Management, Maximisation of Variations and Accurate Forecasting and Reporting.

If you would like advice on quantity surveying on a project, talk to our team of construction experts.

"I recommend all sub-contractors, whether they find trading in the present market to be a challenge or not, to get in touch with Ashmore Consulting, we did - and the fee has been money well spent for advice on contractual matters."

Trevor Kirby - (Managing Director) Anglian Architectural Ltd

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