Essential Elements and Key Points

As we enter into a new year, I thought it would be appropriate to post a blog on what I consider to be the most important elements and criteria for construction claims and responses. In my experience, failure to take these matters into account when compiling a claim is the main reason for claims being rejected and failure to deal with them appropriately when preparing a response to a claim is the main reason for contentions or disputes.

The essential elements to be included in a good claim or response are:

  • Cause – What happened?
  • Effect – What effect did the cause have on the project in terms or time/and or money?
  • Entitlement – Does the contract or the law provide entitlement to compensation?
  • Substantiation – Every part of a narrative or calculations needs to be substantiated.

It may help you to remember the essential elements by way of the acronym CEES (Cause, Effect, Entitlement and Substantiation).

Four key points to remember when compiling a claim or response document are:

Key Point No. 1 – Make the reader’s job as easy and as pleasant as possible;

Key Point No. 2 – Ensure that the submission is a stand-alone document;

Key Point No. 3 – Assume that the reviewer has no prior knowledge of the project or circumstances;

Key Point No. 4 – Irrelevant information should not be included in the document.

If you have a good case and you remember these points when compiling claims or response, you have a good chance of success.


The Institute of Construction Claims Practitioners has an in-depth on this subject.

To request a copy, please send an email with your contact details to hello@instituteccp.com with “ Essential Elements to a Successful Claim ” in the subject line.