Creating maximum predictability
with a clear contract strategy.
Birgit Le Haen – de Croon, LLM
Mauritshuis
10 april 2015 By admin
Cases

 

The renovation of Mauritshuis started at a time in which the refurbishment of other museums was highly problematic. Museums were faced with delays and budgets being overrun. A bad omen for Mauritshuis, which was due for both a renovation and an extension which, in terms of technical complexity and logistical challenges, certainly matched that of the others.

 

Closely monitoring the implementation

The renovation of Mauritshuis consisted of a drastic refurbishment, the construction of an underground connection and a meticulous restoration of the entire, historical premises. All this in the very heart of The Hague, with Binnenhof (meeting place of both houses of Parliament of the Netherlands) and the Ministries as its immediate neighbours. Plenty of reason for the Mauritshuis board to manage the entire renovation process themselves, thereby closely monitoring the implementation.
 

 

Importance of coordination

In view of the diversity to the expertise needed, the choice was made to put the project out to tender in various, specialist contracts. This provides increased control over the quality of the work, yet at the same time creates a serious challenge in terms of cooperation between the different contractors. Birgit Le Haen: “We developed a contract strategy that encouraged the contractors to coordinate their work as effectively as possible and to solve problems mutually, instead of capitalising on them in order to claim additional money from Mauritshuis. The method of cooperation between the different contractors and Mauritshuis was laid down in a coordination agreement signed by all parties, a vital instrument to secure the mutual cooperation in a situation involving a lot of other contractors”.
 

Predictability

Clear agreements on tasks and responsibilities further ensured that every party knew exactly what was expected from them. In the event of unavoidable surprises or setbacks, which are a given in these types of complex projects, it was always clear how these needed to be dealt with. Le Haen: “Through our approach, we have in fact created maximum predictability and as such contributed to improved project control”.

 

Close contact and short lines of communication

Le Haen: “Our method of working seamlessly ties in with complex and sensitive projects such as the renovation of Mauritshuis. We always maintain close contact with our client. The short lines of communication that we create ensure fast and accurate advice, thereby preventing time being lost when solving issues”.

"The extension and renovation of Mauritshuis has been completed successfully".

The extension and renovation of Mauritshuis has been completed successfully. To Victor Moussault, Commercial Director of Mauritshuis, the contract strategy that was opted for and the coordination structure developed for it were the major legal challenges. Moussault: “The role of Croon lawyers as legal advisors was vital, as well as successful. Working with Birgit Le Haen has been an absolute joy. She has a strong, pleasant personality and managed to familiarise with the contents of the project in no time. She is also someone who is able to empathise with the position and interests of the client and contractors. Besides, she works fast and efficiently, which is something I appreciate of course, as a client. I am pleased to hear that Birgit is now involved as an advisor in the renovation of Paleis Het Loo. It means that one of the preconditions for successful completion has been met”.

Victor Moussault, Commercial Director of Mauritshuis