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Project Contract Variations: Mitigating Risks of Cost Overruns, Scope Creep and Breaches in Delivery Obligations

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 Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will address the cost, delivery and other commercial risks inherent in drafting and executing change provisions in a complex project contract. The panel will provide insight into how to effectively mitigate risk while preserving flexibility for the inevitable setbacks and challenges that occur in a complex commercial project.


Variations/changes are a leading cause of disputes on construction, infrastructure and technology projects. The following are issues that often arise in relation to changes in scope: whether work is within or outside of the project scope; procedural requirements for executing variations; pricing of changes; delays caused by changes; and unanticipated changes due to unforeseen occurrences such as changes in law or latent site conditions.

Differences in state law, particularly regarding oral agreements for project scope changes, may also impact the parties’ respective performance obligations and potential liability exposures.

Counsel must be able to anticipate and address these potential issues when drafting the project contract. When parties disagree over delivery and performance obligations the resulting commercial dispute can be costly for the relationship and financially, as claims for extra payment, or claims for payment of liquidated damages, may ensue. These disputes distract from the delivery of the project, causing a chain reaction and stalling productivity.

Listen as our panel of experienced practitioners shares best practices for drafting and negotiating variations clauses, carrying out legal reviews of contractual scopes of work, and administering change directions and claims under the contract, as well how to resolve conflict most efficiently when it does arise.



  1. Elements of changes in scope versus contract amendments
  2. Risk mitigation through careful contract drafting and review
  3. Implementation and administration of changes and change claims to preserve rights and mitigate exposure
  4. Potential risks, pitfalls and resolving commercial disputes


The panel will review these key issues:

  • How do changes in scope differ from contract amendments, and what are the essential elements of each?
  • How should changes be addressed in the project contract?
  • How can counsel minimize the risk of cost overruns, delay-related costs and schedule misses?


John D. Darling
John D. Darling

Hunt Ortmann Palffy Nieves Darling & Mah

Mr. Darling's commercial litigation practice focuses on the resolution of construction and commercial real...  |  Read More

Brooke Miechel
Brooke Miechel
Senior Counsel - Projects
GE Transportation

Ms. Miechel specializes in infrastructure and technology project development and procurement. She has extensive...  |  Read More

Carlo Paciulli
Carlo Paciulli

Hunt Ortmann Palffy Nieves Darling & Mah

Mr. Paciulli’s long-term experience in the design and construction industry buttresses his practice in...  |  Read More

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