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

    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

    Conducted on Wednesday, May 25, 2016
    Recorded event now available

    This CLE webinar 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, Shareholder
    Hunt Ortmann Palffy Nieves Darling & Mah, Pasadena, Calif.

    Mr. Darling’s commercial litigation practice focuses on the resolution of construction and commercial real estate conflicts and on complex business litigation across numerous industry groups and business sectors nationwide. His practice is diverse, including collection actions, business and commercial law disputes, construction consulting, construction contracts and bid documents, construction disputes and litigation, and insurance and suretyship.He counsels clients in assessing risk and damage, and tried over one hundred cases throughout California and the United States.

    Brooke Miechel, Senior Counsel – Projects
    GE Transportation, Chicago

    Ms. Miechel specializes in infrastructure and technology project development and procurement. She has extensive experience advising on project delivery methods and risk allocation, drafting, reviewing and negotiating contract documents and providing strategic legal advice to executive management and project management teams on project issues, claim management and dispute resolution. Ms. Miechel has advised owners, contractors and financiers, is internationally experienced having worked on projects in Australia, North America, South America, Asia and Europe and is experienced across industries including transport, power, mining, oil and gas, chemicals and water. She has worked in-house at General Electric and in private practice at top tier Australian firm, King & Wood Mallesons. She has a Master of Construction Law from the University of Melbourne, Australia.

    Carlo Paciulli, Shareholder
    Hunt Ortmann Palffy Nieves Darling & Mah, Pasadena, Calif.

    Mr. Paciulli’s long-term experience in the design and construction industry buttresses his practice in construction claims and litigation. Before becoming a trial attorney, he worked as an onsite construction and project manager for a large architectural, engineering, and construction services company, during which time he managed over $100 million in facilities construction for the United States Postal Service and developed an extensive background in federal government contracts. He was responsible for design management, bidding and contract award, construction, claims and dispute resolution, and project settlement and closeout. His wide-ranging claims experience includes differing site conditions, delay and disruption, acceleration, defective plans and specifications, change orders, and payment disputes. He presents seminars on change orders, contract administration, AIA contracts, contracting with California public entities, effective quality control, and mechanic’s liens, bonds and stop notices.


    On-Demand CLE – Streaming Video

    Our best recorded option for CLE accreditation. Includes recorded streaming video of full program plus PDF handouts.

    Strafford is an approved provider and can request CLE credit for On-Demand programs in the following states. (Note: Some states restrict CLE eligibility based on the age of a program. Refer to our state CLE Map for additional information.)

    AK, AZ, CA, CO, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN*, KS, KY, LA, ME, MN, MO, MT, NC, ND, NH**, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH*, OK, OR, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY

    *Only available for attorneys admitted for more than two years. For OH CLE credits, only programs recorded within the current calendar year are eligible – contact the CLE department for verification.

    **NH attendees must self-determine if a program is eligible for credit and self-report their attendance.

    On-Demand CLE Video $297.00
    Available 48 hours after the live event

    How does this work?

    Recorded Event

    Includes full event recording plus handouts (available after live webinar).

    Strafford is an approved provider and self-study CLE credit is available in the following states.

    AK, AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, KY, ME, MN, MO, MT, ND, NM, NY, OR, PA, TN, TX, UT, VT, WA, WV, WY (Note: Some states restrict CLE eligibility based on the age of a program. Refer to our state CLE Map for additional information.)

    Strafford will process CLE credit for one person on each recording.

    Recorded Webinar Download $297.00
    Available 48 hours after the live event

    How does this work?

    Recorded Audio Download (MP3) $297.00
    Available 24 hours after the live event

    How does this work?

    DVD (Slide Presentation with Audio) $297.00 plus $9.45 S&H
    Available ten business days after the live event

    How does this work?


    Strafford webinars offer several options for participation: online viewing of speaker-controlled PowerPoint presentations with audio via computer speakers or via phone; or audio only via telephone (download speaker handouts prior to the program).  Please note that our webinars do not feature videos of the presenters.

    Program Materials

    • Presentation

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