Friday, 10 February 2012

Max Abrahamson lecture on Construction Law

We were greatly honoured that Max Abrahamson eminent Construction Lawyer across the English speaking world kindly agreed to give us a lecture on 'Getting the Best from the Public Works Contract and Conditions of Engagement'. The lecture was chaired by Ciarán Fahy Chairman of the Engineers Ireland Disputes Resolution Board and podcast also.

Max commenced the practice of advising on construction contracts in the 1950s and is the author of the standard English textbook on Construction Law which we all studied at college in the 70s 80s and 90s. He is an active consultant in McCann Fitzgerald one of the largest and most successful firms of solicitors in Dublin. He is also an Honorary Fellow of Engineers Ireland.

Pictured before the lecture in the President's Room were Ciarán Fahy Chairman of Engineers Ireland Disputes Resolution Board, Max Abrahamson Lawyer and Honorary Fellow Engineers Ireland and PJ Rudden President of Engineers Ireland
There was a record attendance well beyond the capacity of the Lecture Theatre and many dozens also joined from another room and by podcast. Many professions attended in person or remotely including engineers, architects, surveyors and lawyers.

Max reflected on his career and on the many challenges faced in balancing the construction contract risks fairly between Employers, Engineers and Contractors. He commented on the pros and cons of the 'lump sum fixed price' contracts embedded in the new Government Form of Contracts in recent years.

After thanking Max for his unique contribution to Engineers Ireland over many decades I asked him 'When is a lump sum contract not a lump sum? Does the lump sum still hold if the project scope alters?' His reply was classic 'A lump sum is of course a lump sum unless you happen to have a very good lawyer!'

Thank you Max for an interesting and inspiring lecture appreciated by a record attendance in Engineers Ireland.

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