When negotiating a contract, do not overlook the dispute resolution provision. It is one of the more important provisions in your construction contract. This provision will come into play and have ramifications if there is a dispute, which is certainly not uncommon on a construction project.
In dispute resolution provisions in subcontracts on federal projects, it is not unusual for that provision to include language that requires the subcontractor to STAY any dispute that concerns actions or inactions of the owner pending the resolution of any dispute between the owner and prime contractor relating to that action or inaction. A provision to this effect should be included for the benefit of the prime contractor. For instance, the provision may say the subcontractor agrees to stay any such claim against the prime contractor or prime contractor’s surety pending the outcome of any pass-through claim (or otherwise) submitted under the Contract Disputes Act.