Publication: ‘Construction Law in the International Environment’

Editor & Lead Author: Fernando Marcondes – L.O.Baptista- Sao Paulo

Editorial: Almedina- Brazil


Preface by Christopher Miers

This book brings together key elements of international construction law and best practice which represent recurrent themes in the successful delivery of international construction projects.

The timing of the publication of the book is important as we see the continued expansion of international construction law as a niche specialist area of legal practice, and we engage with project participants from worldwide cultures. Major projects may have the design team coming from various continents working collaboratively through a centralised design model hosted on the cloud; with tendering contractors coming from different corners of the globe, forming joint ventures and alliances, and bringing with them different construction cultures and expectations of risk allocation and project norms; with multiple funding institutions providing the project finance, bringing with them their required contractual frameworks and standards of transparency; and with construction materials and resources sourced from around the world giving rise to challenges of coordination, international transportation, and compliance with the relevant national legislative and fiscal barriers, in order finally to deliver the project.

In addition, in many jurisdictions, including extensively in Latin America, we see fresh, creative approaches to providing effective procedures for dispute avoidance and alternative dispute resolution embedded into construction contracts. We saw new contractual dispute avoidance provisions introduced for the Rio 2016 Olympics & Paralympics. Standard forms of contract such as FIDIC 2017 and NEC4 provide the opportunity to bring consistency of approaches to risk which can be evaluated and priced into projects, with experience, and for engaging with Dispute Adjudication Boards from the commencement of the project. And thus we see the gradual take-up of contract-mandated DABs in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Honduras, Costa Rica and elsewhere, such as in recent sports projects (Lima 2019), metro projects (Sao Paulo and Quito), highway projects (Honduras), ports expansion (Peru and Costa Rica) and hydropower projects (Ecuador and Honduras) amongst others. Alongside this we wait to see the effect of the Singapore Convention in supporting the wider use of mediated settlement agreements in the international context.

Parallel developments in the further education of professionals in construction law have also supported the formation of an international network of like-minded experts who draft and implement these contracts. Notable courses such as in London and Melbourne have allowed cross-overs of professionals between civil and common law traditions, and have engendered an alumni network of colleagues who we encounter within international construction. Accordingly, the dissemination of understanding of core concepts facilitates discussion, argument, and – most importantly – resolution of issues which inevitably arise in complex construction.

Hence, I envisage that this book, expertly conceived of and brought together by the leading, distinguished construction lawyer Fernando Marcondes, with its range of topics and its expert authors, will be much referred to and often cited.