property law


August 28, 2019



| Your comment matters, please click here to rate article!

FIDIC has a different category known as Rainbow suite for varied projects or contracts. The suite includes Res book for building and engineering works, a yellow book for design-build, a silver book for EPC contracts and the green book for short projects which was released in 1999.

Almost post two decades, FIDIC committee has released the second edition of three principal contracts that are Red, Yellow and Silver book. The amendments in these contracts are the recent topics of construction industry. The Construction Lawyers in Dubai have written this article to enlighten the readers about a few notable changes in the FIDIC current edition. The rationale behind the rigorous amendment in the rainbow suit is to meet the demands of the users and the industry, considering the rapid change in the technology.

Significant Changes

One can witness considerable revisions in the yellow, silver and red book. The extensive nature of these contracts is due to detailed provisions regarding contract administrations rather than just superficial change. One should carefully read each clause of the concerned book considering the length of the provision it may invite unnecessary misinterpretations. Some of the notable changes in the FIDIC rules are outlined below:

1. Notice

A clear heading stating "Notice" and the subject for issuing such notice shall be highlighted, whenever a party issues a notice, concerning the new amendment. The intention behind this amendment is to reduce the disputes in relation to notices issued by parties where parties argue about the recommendations in the progress report is considered as notice of a claim.

2. Disputes

In consonance with the predecessor of the rainbow suite to appoint Dispute Adjudication Board (DAB). The functions DAB starts from the beginning of the contract until the completion of the project. The Board is required to visit the site throughout the term of the agreement to ensure smooth functioning of the project. As the name suggests, DAB is appointed to resolve or avoid disputes between the parties. Even though appointment DAB can prevent parties from strenuous disputes, it is still considered as a costly affair to have DAB on board. However, under the new amendment, appointing Dab is a preliminary requirement for parties which earlier they were happy to disavow.

3. Duties of Engineers

A pivotal role was played by engineers in the old Rainbow suite, and the same position has been maintained in the new suite with some additional responsibilities. FIDIC update is almost 50% more of its predecessor with one significant aim to achieve more structured and clear procedures to avoid uncertainty. Coming back to the duties of the engineer, below are several new duties under the new Yellow book:

  • The engineer will continue to act as an employer, and according to the new amendment, Engineer is not required to permission from the employer prior to making a determination;
  • There is a new role of Engineer's representative, who must be present at the site throughout the project period;
  • Engineer under the term "Agreement" is obligated to encourage the terms of the agreement. They may further, if required, provide consultation to parties in this regards;
  • Should the engineer fails to make a determination in the relevant period, the matter will be referred to DAB;
  • Engineer is a neutral party and should not be biased.

A great emphasis can be witnessed from the wordings of the new contract on the duties of engineers that is to prevent the claims from becoming disputes leading towards harmony between the parties.

4. Warnings

Another consequential feature of the rainbow suite is the authority given to DAB to issue advance warnings or prior notice of a potential issue. This feature is to with a view to amicably settle the matters between the parties and with a hope that parties will work in harmony to resolve the dispute rather than escalating it to something serious.

The gold book allows the parties to inform another party in advance regarding any unforeseen circumstances which can have an unpropitious impact on the project.

5. Force Majeure Provisions

Gold Book manifests a collaborative and risk-sharing approach and bearing the same approach in mind; the new yellow book includes a provision stating "exceptional risks" or "risk allocation". The definition of exceptional risks is similar to the definition of force majeure clause. However, it also sets out the risks the contractor or the employer may have to bear in future. A detailed description of such risks can be observed from the new amendment.

6. The procedure for filing claim

Interestingly, a new step has been taken by FIDIC to divide the claims procedure from that of disputes. The intention of the FIDIC committee was to separate the contractual processes of seeking a claim from the procedures regarding filing a dispute. Through this, parties will be less ingrained towards their position and will be more likely to resolve the dispute. However, we still have to see if the concerned approach will practically fit in such conflict.

One more significant change can be seen in clause 20 where the claims procedure is now applied to both the employer and the contractor. It is clear that now a similar procedure will be followed for employer's claims, leading towards a balanced approach and mutually-benefitted relationship. It is further implied from Clause 20 that numerous additional obligation regarding contract obligations have been imposed on the party filing a claim.


It is indeed very early to have conclusive remarks on the FIDIC update as the position of new amendments are yet to be justified through a practical approach. However, a significant emphasis on the dispute avoidance mechanism is perhaps the most conspicuous change in the rainbow suite.

Introduction of friendly settlement procedure is clearly to safeguard the interest of parties and offer them employer-friendly business relationship.

Related Links

Copyright © of this article is retained by the author and/or other copyright owners. We explicitly grant you permission to download a copy, without any alteration, of this article for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or any charge. This article can be utilized on your website or for marketing, however, we grant you permission to host this article on your website and no other rights. This content should not be altered in any way or sold commercially in any format without prior permission of the copyright holder. During reference of this article, full biographic details entailing the name of the author, his designation, the institute and the publishing date of the article shall be provided.


No comments found.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Want to know more?
Then talk to us.

Client Testimonials

I owe the success of my case to Dr. Hassan's diligent approach. He remained focused, put me at ease and always went the extra mile. Dr. Hassan tirelessly put my case in the best possible light and I cannot thank him enough. I would highly recommend Dr. Hassan - I am grateful to him from the bottom of my heart.

Raphael Lauria
Manager, FME General Trading

Dr. Hassan Elhais is among the best legal consultants I have ever worked with. He has an amazing ability to reduce complex issues into a simple concept that non-legal people can understand. He consistently develops innovative litigation strategies that help us to achieve our ultimate legal goals.

Zhuo Liu

...the extraordinary effort that has been exerted by the staff, and we specially thank Dr. Hassan Mohsen Alhais. Wishing your continues success & excellence...

H.H. Sheikh Saeed Bin
Mohammed Hashir Al Maktoum

I believe everyone should recognize what a difference Dr. Hassan Elhais work has made to people's lives; and especially to our family's life, because we will remain forever grateful to each and every one of his team.

Luis Pozueco

Dr. Hassan Elhais never fears cases that involve exposure and he always gives me his honest assessment of our chances of success, which is invaluable to me.

Bassam Yamout
Director, JM Metal Trading LCC

He aided us not only in providing legal advice but also in all legal issues that required a long term strategic approach to achieve most favorable and optimum outcomes he provided us with high level of professional service.

Philippe Delbecq

Dr. Hassan Elhais is a responsible, reputable counsel who operates to high levels of service.

British Client

Dr Hassan Elhais is responsive, thorough and creative with his advice, and is a valued advisor and legal consultant.

Asma Mattar
Manager, Italian Style

Regardless of the complexity of the matter I know Dr. Hassan Elhais will consider not only legal strategy but also business practicalities in providing advice and litigation options.

Dr. Massimo Hakim
Chairman, Italian Style

I recommend Dr. Hassan Elhais to anyone who says 'I'm in legal trouble'. I was extremely satisfied with the high standard of his work. He has always been there when I have needed him and I refer all my clients, family and friends to him/his firm.

Manish Gupta
Marketing Manager, Express Digital System

Dr. Hassan Elhais was very professional and he listened to my needs. He was very prompt, efficient and always kept me informed. Dr. Hassan Elhais's service was excellent and I would definitely recommend him to friends and colleagues.

James Horsley
British Client

Select your Language:


Main Menu