It is common for parties in commercial construction projects to include sectional completion provisions in their contracts where they have agreed to complete works in sections or phases. These provisions provide information on when the contractor will need to complete works for each section. Where the contractor fails to complete works on the agreed sectional dates, it is typical for the employer to trigger the liquidated damages provision of the contract as a remedy.

However, it is noteworthy that the arbitral tribunal will only allow the employer to activate the liquidated damages provision if the sectional completion provision is clear and identifiable. Where the sectional provision cannot be ascertained, the employer’s entitlement to seek liquidated damages will be void and unenforceable.

In this Article, ourOsinachiNwandem (Associate) discusses sectional completion in construction contracts. He also makes recommendations for drafting enforceable sectional completion provisions in construction contracts.