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Publications  include the following:

Extra-Contractual Recoveries for Construction and Engineering Work

Extra-Contractual Recoveries for Construction & Engineering Work will be published by London Publishing Partnership in May 2022.

This book is a unique construction law text, describing all the routes to recovery of payment for work that are not to be found in the express words of the contract. It contains both legal scholarship and practical guidance, and will be a particularly invaluable tool for those seeking payment in the face of oppressive contract conditions.

This two-volume, 1,300-page work will retail at £195/AU$395. Anyone who wishes to preorder the book can do so via one of the three links below, with discounts applying until the end of April. Anyone wishing to order five or more copies should email with details as bigger discounts might be available.

Preorder a copy here if you are in the UK

Preorder a copy here if you are in Australia

Preorder a copy here if you are anywhere else in the world

Praise for Extra-Contractual Recoveries for Construction & Engineering Work

“This text, the magnum opus of an already impressive oeuvre, will make a formidable contribution to the domain of construction law and provide great value to counsel, arbitrators, judges and construction industry participants at all levels of the industry.”

— From the book’s foreword by Professor Douglas Jones, international commercial and investor/state arbitrator, and an International Judge of the Singapore International Commercial Court

“The merit of the book lies in the author’s encyclopaedic knowledge, but also in its engagement with the real-life business of setting up and running projects. It will delight all those (lawyers and construction professionals) in the business of claims and defending against them. To have such experience distilled in such a rigorous and systematic way is a gift to the reader.”

Philip Britton, co-author of Residential Construction Law (Hart, 2021) and Visiting Professor (Law), King’s College London

“To the unwary, a construction contract may give the impression of creating a complete universe of rights and obligations.  Yet any contract is merely foreground, against a wider landscape of common law, statute and sometimes even customary laws.  Contracting parties need to know where they stand from an overall legal perspective.  In Extra-Contractual Recoveries, Robert Fenwick Elliott shows us with great clarity the ‘Yang’ of construction law that nestles against the ‘Yin’ of the contract’s written letter”.

Julian Bailey, author of Construction Law (3rd edition, LPP, 2020) and partner at White & Case LLP, London

“Construction law is traditionally understood to be primarily a subset of contract law, as applied in detail via the common law and via standard and bespoke forms of contract. This understanding can obscure the growing importance of remedies which lie outside (or, adjacent to) this contractual realm. This book is valuable not only for bringing these extra-contractual matters out of obscurity but in its sheer generosity of insight, drawn from the author’s deep and thoughtful engagement at the forefront of international construction law discourse and practice over many years. The international construction law community, and the broader community it serves, will be all the richer for this book’s contribution.”

Dr Matthew Bell, Associate Professor and Co-Director of Studies for Construction Law, Melbourne Law School, The University of Melbourne

Other books on construction law focus on construction contracts. This book, on the other hand, contains a unique in-depth analysis of other legal routes to payment for construction and engineering work which are not evident from the express words of the contract. These extra-contractual remedies are of great importance, but are frequently underused; for the first time, they have been brought together in a unified way. They include claims in damages for breach of implied terms, quantum meruit, negligence, statutory recoveries, and other legal principles that may be in invoked, including prevention, impossibility, relief from forfeiture to circumvent contractual obstacles to payment, and the impact of fraud and unconscionability.

Particularly useful will be the checklists, prompting the reader to explore possible causes of action that may not otherwise present themselves as available.

The first volume contains the main text. The second volume reproduces the key passages from decided cases and legislation which underpin these extra-contractual remedies. The full table of contents for the work appears underneath the author details below.

The author, Robert Fenwick Elliott, founded the London Law firm Fenwick Elliott in 1980, and now has over 40 years’ experience as a lawyer pursuing and defending construction and engineering claims. He now practises as a barrister in Australia and is an international member of Keating Chambers in the UK.

This work considers the law of England, Australia and other common law jurisdictions around the world. The book is not merely an academic tome, but an incisive and compelling practical guide from one of the most successful construction litigators of his generation.

The Worker’s Liens Casebook

wlcSince its enactment in 1893 as the Workmen’s Liens Act, the Worker’s Lien Act (South Australia) has had a colourful and problematic history.  It was drafted by a man who had already been certified as a lunatic, and taken through Parliament by a man then bound over to keep the peace for apparently intending to shoot the principal opponent of the Bill in a duel.  It has been repeatedly criticised from the Bench for its “fuliginous obscurity”, “enigmatic language” and for being “antiquated”.  Yet the Act remains in force and continues to pose challenges for lawyers practising in South Australia.

This work contains sections describing the operation of the Act, the Act itself with annotations, all the significant decisions on the Act from South Australia and the Northern Territory (including the early cases of Oswald v Matters, Bourne v Kneebone and Giles v Jacob, which were reported only in the Register and/or Advertiser newspapers), the text of the parliamentary debates including both the 1893 and the 1896 proceedings, and precedents.

The Worker’s Liens Casebook was published as a limited edition by FEG Services Pty Limited, 10th Floor, Optus Centre, 431 King William Street, Adelaide, SA 5000.

Format:      Hardback, 925 pages
Price:         $145.00 inc GST

To buy a copy, send a request by email to

See extracts and contents and update pages

6336Building Contract Disputes: Practice and Precedents

I am the original author, now consultant editor, of Building Contract Disputes: Practice and Precedents published by Sweet & Maxwell in London, described by the Supreme Court in 2020 in the Bresco decision as a “leading textbook”. This is a large (1400+ pp) A4 looseleaf which deals with the handling of disputes in England, but with sections on international practice; it is updated twice a year.  It is now in the competent hands of Jeremy Glover of Fenwick Elliott LLP. Click here for the BCD stop press pages.

Building Contract Litigation

That book effectively replaced the previous much shorter book Building Contract Litigation, which ran to 4 editions and a number of reprintings.


Construction Law Service

clsThis is CD service, which includes several leading construction law works in their latest editions.

Construction Industry Law Letter

From 1994 to 1999, I was Editor of Construction Industry Law Letter, published by Informa Law. As such, I reported many construction law cases from the UK and other jurisdictions.

I have contributed book reviews and articles to a number of other publications, including Construction Law Journal.

Work In Progress

I am currently working a new book, Extra-Contractual Recoveries for Construction and Engineering Work.  Blogs will appear about this from time to time.

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