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FIDIC (“Fédération internationale des ingénieurs-conseils”) was founded in 1913. It is an international non-governmental organisation. Its members are national associations of consulting engineers from about 100 jurisdictions. Its German member is the (German) Association of Consulting Engineers (Verband Beratender Ingenieure, VBI). FIDIC’s headquarter is in Geneva, Switzerland.

FIDIC publishes standard form contracts for international construction projects. FIDIC contracts are the most dominating standard construction contracts across the world. The first FIDIC contract was published in 1957 when FIDIC amended the ICE 4 contract of that time (from the UK Institution of Civil Engineers, ICE) into its first Red Book Construction Contract 1957. This contract was updated several times until 1987. Then, in 1999, FIDIC decided against another update and instead published the “New Red Book”, also known as the “Red Book 1999 1st edition”, together with other standard contracts for different uses (Yellow, Silver and Green Books 1999). Due to the colours in their names, these contracts are referred to as the “rainbow suite” of contracts.

After 18 years, in December 2017, FIDIC published the second edition of its three major forms of contract, namely the Red, Yellow, and Silver Books. This update had been expected for several years. The old versions of these three forms of contract (from 1999) will very likely remain in use for a considerable time.

Today, the “rainbow suite” of FIDIC contracts consists of the following forms:

  • Red Book 2017 – Construction – for works designed by Employer
  • Yellow Book 2017 – Plant and Design-Build
  • Silver Book 2017 – EPC/Turnkey Projects
  • Joint Venture Agreement 2017
  • White Book 2017 (5th edition) – Client/Consultant Services
  • Model-Sub-Consultancy Agreement 2017
  • Yellow Book 2016 Pre-release version
  • Purple Book 2013 – Model Representative Agreement
  • Subcontract Construction 2011 – for works designed by Employer
  • Gold Book 2008 – Design, Build and Operate Projects
  • Pink Book 2006 and 2010 – MDB Harmonised Red Book – Construction
  • Blue-Green Book 2006 – Dredging Works
  • Green Book 1999 – Short Form of Contract
  • Red, Yellow, and Silver Book 1999 (1st edition)

FIDIC contracts exhibit certain distinct features, such as the impartial role of the engineer. Other devices, such as dispute boards, or a notice of dissatisfaction are also known to other model contracts.

In 2006 and 2010, the world’s leading Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) published versions of the FIDIC Pink Book which are amended versions of the FIDIC Red Book 1999. In comparison to the Red Book, the position of the employer is strengthened under the FIDIC Pink Book (so that the financing organisation can better control the project). The FIDIC Pink Book contract is therefore contained in the Standard Bidding Documents of the World Bank for construction projects, e.g. for the construction of roads in developing countries. These circumstances illustrate the global reach of FIDIC contracts.

BODENHEIMER have vast experience in FIDIC construction contracts. Dr Rouven F. Bodenheimer has co-authored relevant FIDIC contracts.

BODENHEIMER Representative Matters as Parties’ Counsel

Advised an EU government on negotiations and disputes pertaining to FIDIC construction contracts for embassy buildings and other government facilities in multiple host countries around the world

Amended a FIDIC construction contract for an Austrian energy business for a wind park

Represented a turnkey contractor in arbitration proceedings regarding the performance of the plant procured under a FIDIC construction contract

Advised a German engineering business on a FIDIC Model Joint Venture Agreement for an infrastructure project in Saudi Arabia