NEC4 ECC Option B, option w2 for disputes

The instance which arises involved a dispute regarding a compensation event quotation being referred to the senior representatives. The Contractor issued its statement of case within the one week time period set out under clause w2.1. The Client issued its statement of case one day late. What is the status of the Client’s statement of case (SOC) or is the contractual effect that the Client has not issued a statement of case? Do the meetings between the Senior Reps proceed or, in issuing its SOC late has the Client accepted the Contractor’s CE quotation?

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The referral to the Senior Representatives under Option W2 is by agreement between the Parties and doesn’t restrict the right to refer a matter of dispute to adjudication at any time.

Once agreement has been made, however, you would reasonably expect the procedural matters to be followed. Although it doesn’t state what happens if a statement of case is submitted late, the remit for the Senior Representatives is reasonably broad, with the use of ’ … any procedure they consider necessary … ’ to resolve the dispute, so I would suggest that a submission a day later than stipulated would not be a reason to either conclude the procedure at that point, or for it not to be considered by the Senior Representatives.

I would also suggest that there is not any implied acceptance for a late submission, as this procedure doesn’t overrule the existing conditions of contract requirements for each of the Parties.