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Cost-Plus Construction Contracts: Change Orders, Audit Provisions, Negotiating Disputes, Termination

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Monday, August 24, 2020

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will discuss cost-plus construction contracts, addressing when it is most advantageous to use, as well as the most severe drawbacks. The panel will provide examples to assist construction counsel on how to best document the changes that lead to future disputes, how best to audit a project, and how to both negotiate and terminate these agreements.


Once presented with a new construction project, one of the first decisions to address is the price structuring. Cost-plus construction agreements provide more flexibility in circumstances with significant unknowns. Counsel and clients must prepare to examine the project to determine the advantages and disadvantages of such use.

Construction counsel should work with key partners to develop a cost-plus agreement that addresses the risks of disorganization and sets forth explicit requirements for change orders. Cost-plus construction contracts should also include detailed audit provisions to ensure payment requirements are met.

Most construction industry associations provide standard form agreements. However, counsel must know the proper terms to negotiate and understand the intricacies of termination so that their clients can achieve their goals.

Listen as our panel of construction practitioners addresses the ins and outs of cost-plus contracts and provides guidance on when to utilize these agreements. The panel will discuss critical clauses, means of avoiding disorganization, the avoid process, and how and when to attempt termination.



  1. Cost-plus basics
  2. Budgeting
  3. Scheduling
  4. Scope of services
  5. Logistics
  6. Change orders
  7. Termination
  8. Advantages and disadvantages


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages when utilizing a cost-plus contract as a price structure?
  • What are best practices for documenting change orders and keeping a cost-plus project organized?
  • When and how can a cost-plus contract be terminated?
  • What factors should construction counsel consider when tailoring a professional association standard form to a particular project?


Frega, John
John M. Frega

Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders

Mr. Frega advises clients in all aspects of commercial transactions, specifically focusing on the drafting and...  |  Read More

Walsh, Tim
Tim Walsh

Norton Rose Fulbright US

Mr. Walsh specializes in front end construction, project development and dispute resolution. He represents owners,...  |  Read More

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