Observers of the construction industry have seen companies go bankrupt, or go through torturous downsizings, layoffs and disputes, because of slow payment and nonpayment by customers. One cause of such difficulties is the contingent payment clause. In addition to the economic damage pay-if-paid clauses cause, they also raise serious legal and ethical questions in business. Simply put, “contingent payment” describes a contractual provision that makes one party’s right to be paid for services provided to a second party contingent on the payment of the second party by a third party. In the construction industry, this clause often translates into a subcontractor’s right to be paid being contingent on the owner’s payment of the prime contractor for the subcontractor’s work. You can master contingent payment by studying ASA’s new white paper now available free for ASA members on ASA’s Web site. Mastering Contingent Payment helps readers understand the important differences between pay-if-paid and pay-when-paid clauses, discusses industry practices, reviews existing law and trends, and provides tips on how a subcontractor can protect its business. The white paper is available to ASA members as a free, downloadable PDF document under “Contracts and Project Management” in the Member Resources section of the ASA Web site.