Legal Practice of Investment Project Management

Large-scale investment projects usually last several years and require the establishment and maintenance of organisations for the proper information flow and processing, an ongoing risk analysis, management of claims, recording all events that may affect the rights of the parties, resolution of disputes or their structuring in such a way that the project can continue uninterrupted. Both on the part of Contracting Authorities and Contractors.

Project management organisations often consist of tens or even hundreds of people with different tasks and skills, including lawyers who provide active support to Project Managers. Within a project management organisation, the fields of activity for lawyers are: claims management, participation in co-creation of the project implementation strategy and active participation in risk committees.

What is more, multi-year investment projects usually also require changes in the relationship with the client, general contractor, or subcontractors. Depending on the contract model, a key role for lawyers is also revealed in the procedure of Variation Orders (VO), and financial claims and Extension of Time (EoT) claims, not necessarily based on the VO system.

As part of such projects, it is invariably necessary to monitor the performance of the obligations of the Contracting Parties, as described in the Distribution of Tasks, so as to be able to actively safeguard one’s own legal interests.

It is also critical that project lawyers work closely with planners, particularly in the context of the Project Schedule and the consequences of not complying with it, including the impact on the project's critical path. The experience of 2020 and the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic also highlights the importance of properly documenting the impact of a Force Majeure or Change in Law on project implementation.

Sometimes a project needs to be profoundly restructured during its course, or the project contract needs to be terminated. This is why it is so important for lawyers to be part of the project management team from the moment a green light is given to commence work until the project is completed, or even until the end of the warranty period.

While each project is slightly different, the key management principles are similar. To date, MWW lawyers have acted as lead legal advisers and members of project management teams on energy, industrial, refinery, rail, or offshore upstream projects.

Should you have any questions or think if we can help you select the best solution, please do not hesitate to contact our dedicated specialists at MWW.