Referencing of Clauses in Correspondence and Claims

I was recently asked for advice on how to correctly refer or refer to contract clauses when preparing a claim. Although this is a fairly minor point, it is something that is often done badly and if so, can make the reader’s understanding more difficult.

If you wish to refer to a sub-clause in a narrative or correspondence, I prefer to see it in the following format:

  • For major clauses: Clause 13 (Variations and Adjustments)
  • For sub-clauses: Sub-Clause 13.3 (Variation Procedure)’

A common failing when writing letters or claims is to just refer to the sub-clause number without the title. This makes it difficult for a reviewer who is not familiar with the contract to understand without constantly having to refer to the contract itself. Remember that a key point to claim or response writing is to make the reviewer’s job as easy and pleasant as possible and to help him or her understand the points being made.

Attention to detail when writing claims and responses is important, because it demonstrates the professionalism of the person and company who prepared the document. This in turn helps to persuade a reviewer that the document contains a good case.

This blog was authored by ICCP Executive Officer and FICCP, Andy Hewitt

The Institute of Construction Claims Practitioners has a paper on this subject. To request a copy, please send an email with your contact details to with “Presentation of Claim Narratives” in the subject line.

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