New construction is a relatively straightforward, technical and legal affair. How different is the renovation or transformation of an existing building that may contain hidden technical defects? Just think of the various uncertainties such as reinforcement, construction issues and pollution (soil contamination, asbestos). Where are the pipes located, what is the wear & tear status? Simple old-school contracting agreements will not suffice. What is needed, in addition to alert acting by the designing and executing parties, are integrated contracting forms.
Legal practice is mostly about proper preparation of a project beforehand - not litigation. This means that it is better to engage Barnsteen Advocatuur in the early stages of negotiations, when the impact of proper legal advice is instrumental and the payoff of a clear contract is the highest. It goes without saying that we will take a close look at case law and that we know the textbooks. In order to stay out of court, it is vital to draw up appropriate contracts for the commercial practice of parties who join forces.
If everyone sticks to the arrangements that are made, does everything in the proper sequence, and in accordance with the agreed and well-considered planning, success is guaranteed. In most cases, there are several ways of taking up a matter. But if you jointly agree on a specific way to go forward, you cannot deviate from it at a later stage. As a matter of fact, a contract serves the same purpose as a construction drawing. It is like a railway timetable, enabling all parties involved to see at all times what to do under specific circumstances - and not to check what should have been done in retrospect after things have already gone wrong.
The legal world and the litigation practice, even the Judiciary, often talk about the wonders of ‘mediation’. But what is mediation really? Considering the individual interests of stakeholders with an open mind and arriving at a voluntary solution. That is a lot easier to do before the atmosphere turns sour. Well then, why not use these mediation techniques during the preparatory stages of a project? Lateral thinking and creativity, that is what matters.
Mr. J. (Jan) van Duijvendijk, advocaat
3743 CH Baarn
Tel +31 6 53 623 821
In my view, cooperation should be based on knowledge, vision and mutual respect. Drawing up contracts demands legal sharpness, a good command of language and accuracy, as well as branch knowledge and creativity.
Legal practice preferably takes place outside of the courtroom. In essence it is a matter of excellent preparation in order to stay out of court.