Sundays The Project Chatter Podcast

S4E86: Making law work for the construction & engineering industry with Sarah Schutte

from The Project Chatter Podcast | Published 9/12/2021

In this week’s pod we welcomed Sarah Schutte to discuss how to make law work for the construction and engineering industry. Sarah is an independent UK-qualified solicitor-advocate and runs her own legal and training consultancy. She has 19 years' experience as a specialist infrastructure lawyer, including 12 years working directly for industry. She has developed a niche practice in project management, project controls and the law (PPM and P3M and PMO). She collaborates closely with global Chapters of the Project Management Institute (PMI) and the UK Association of Project Managers (APM). The main topics we discussed on the podcast were as follows: • The contract is the framework, means and vehicle for delivering and managing projects • Freedom of contract allows companies to agree anything within their contracts provided it is legal. They are then bound by these agreements • No project manager is taught contract law in PMBOK or APM frameworks. This should change given the importance to project delivery • The role of project managers has evolved to include leadership and motivation. The next evolution should be commercial know-how • NEC Contracts are written in the “simple, present, active voice”! • There is a difference between Commercial teams and Legal teams. Legal are generally consulted whereas commercial generally manage contracts. Legal can often be overly academic • Standard contract templates can be a useful starting point for projects in countries where contracts are not overly prescriptive e.g. Spain • Learning about the technical aspect of the project allows commercial teams to be value adding to the delivery teams • There isn’t a best time to speak to the in house legal counsel though most people leave it too late! • As a legal counsel, it is your duty to give advice and inform clients of potential consequences to their commercial position. • The transparency element of NEC Option C/D is overly weighted towards cost rather than time and quality • It is important to provide accurate reporting even if the contractor or internal team do not like the answers Here are links to some of the topics that were discussed: Schutte Consulting Peridot Consulting International LLP Project Business Foundation: not-for-profit education and accreditation for PMs dealing with outsourced projects. Basic knowledge of contract law for Project Managers: Basic Contract Law for Project Managers: ----------------------------------------- Join us next week where we’re joined by Lorraine Humphrey to talk about Project Assurance and Risk Management. Val and Dale are discussing the future of Project Controls at the Virtual Project Controls Expo next week. Be sure to tune in! For more information, blogs or to support our charities visit If you'd like to sponsor the podcast get in touch via our website. You can also leave us a voice message via our anchor page and let us know if there's something or someone specific that you would like on the podcast. Stay safe, be disruptive and have fun doing it! Dale and Val --- Send in a voice message:

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Welcome to Project Chatter,  the podcast where project professionals, specialists and experts from various sectors talk about the latest trends in project management and PMO. Listen to Val and Dale as they talk about tried and tested best practices and share their unfiltered thoughts about the industry. Whether you're here to learn how to progress your career, improve your project controls skills, or just want to hear an Aussie and South African rant about projects, then you've come to the right place. Welcome to the Project Chatter Podcast, with your hosts Dale Foong and Val Matthews.