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News » Construction Law Updates

Construction Law Updates

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Contractor cannot rely upon the prevention principle

1 Aug 2011: The Technology and Construction Court has thrown out a contractor's attempt to rely upon the prevention principle to excuse the delay on a project. The contractor alleged that the delays had been caused by the employer and the statutory undertakers. more »

Adjudicator's decision based on without prejudice material will not be enforced

22 Jul 2011: The Technology & Construction Court has ruled that an adjudication decision based on without prejudice material will not be enforced by the courts. When "without prejudice" communications are presented in court, because judges are legally qualified, they can usually put them out of their mind. In adjudication, however, because most adjudicators are not legally qualified, there is a sense of "unease" that such material might influence the adjudicator. For this reason, without prejudice communications should not be put before an adjudicator, and lawyers who do so may face professional disciplinary action. more »

Dissenting party still liable for adjudicator's fees

12 Jul 2011: A party who disagreed with the amount of fees charged by an adjudicator was still liable to pay them.By taking part in the adjudication, it was taken that they had agreed to the fees. As long as the hourly rate claimed by an adjudicator is not clearly outside an overall band of reasonableness, there would be no basis to interfere. more »

But I thought you meant ...

4 Jul 2011: Morgan Utilities thought they had an agreement with Scottish Water on how they were going to be paid, but no one wrote it down ..... more »

Contractor seeks injunction to remain on site after receivers called in

29 Jun 2011: A contractor has failed to obtain an injunction restraining a receiver from taking over a development it was working on. Moylist claimed it had a licence to access the site as long as the contract remained in place, and it had not been terminated. more »

Adjudicator can consider counterclaim without withholding notice having been issued..

22 Jun 2011: A court has held that an adjudicator was wrong not to consider a party's counterclaim because it had not issued a withholding notice against an interim certificate. However, he would only be able to consider counterclaims which did not relate to the interim certificate. more »

Contractors liable for Network Rail loss

7 Jun 2011: Two companies have been found liable for the financial loss suffered by Network Rail when its apparatus was damaged due to the negligence of their drivers. The damage caused disruption to the rail service and made Network Rail liable to the Train Operating Companies under their Track Agreements. The companies were held to be liable for that financial loss. more »

Directors Failings ~ Corporate Manslaughter

31 May 2011: Dr Simon Joyston-Bechal heads the Pinsent Masons LLP national specialist health and safety defence team and was engaged in defending Cotswold Geotechnical Ltd and its managing director in the first prosecution to be brought under the new corporate manslaughter legislation. more »

An employer's liability for an independent contractor's tort

30 May 2011: Tinseltime's machinery was damages by dust caused by the contractor working for Denbighshire County Council and the Welsh Assembly Government cut concrete blocks. Tinseltime brought an action for damages, loss of profit and loss of management time against all three. more »

Your Serve

24 May 2011: Lanes tried to argue that Galliford Try's referral and statement of case in the adjudication had been served out of time. The parties' adjudication was being run under the ICE's Adjudication procedure. The court rejected the submission, finding that the documents had been served within the required two days over a weekend when the clocks were changed to British Summer Time. more »

This is the limit

17 May 2011: The court has thrown out home owners' claim that engineers were negligent because they did not commence the action in time. They should have started proceedings as soon as they suspected that there was a defect which required further investigation. more »

No liability under the defective premises act

9 May 2011: The Court of Appeal has overturned a judge's decision that the conversion works on a house were so extensive as to change its identity and so make the project manager liable to the purchasers under the Defective Premises Act 1972. more »

Breach of an adjudication agreement is not repudiatory

28 Apr 2011: The Technology and Construction Court has ruled that although a party may be in breach of an adjudication agreement by failing to follow the procedure contained in the contract, such a breach cannot be repudiation of the agreement more »

Don't leave it too late to bring a claim for defects

12 Apr 2011: The decision in Clinton Eagle v Redlime Ltd., [2011] EWHC 838 (QB) demonstrates the importance of acting quickly to bring a case for defective works. It all hinges on the date when the claimant is deemed to have "constructive knowledge". more »

Communicating effectively under the NEC

12 Apr 2011: Notices " in particular their proper service " continue to be a hot topic following the decision by the Scottish Courts in Education 4 Ayrshire v South Ayrshire Council. more »

First conviction for corporate manslaughter

5 Apr 2011: On 15 February 2011, Cotswold Geotechnical (Holdings) Limited became the first company to be convicted of corporate manslaughter under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007. more »

The End of Expert Witness Immunity?

5 Apr 2011: The Supreme Court has cast doubt on the justification for expert witness immunity and whether its removal would lead to an increase in vexatious litigation. The Court expressed the view that the immunity currently enjoyed by experts should be abolished. more »

Acceptance Certificate Makes Bond Null & Void

31 Mar 2011: Simon Carves Ltd. (SCL) contracted with the defendant Ensus, for the construction of a bioethanol plant in Teesside. The contract incorporated the provisions of the Institution of Chemical Engineers Red Book 2001 edition, but was amended by special conditions which the parties had agreed. more »

Frolicking Adjudicators, Batman!

22 Mar 2011: The unsuccessful party in an adjudication challenged the decision arguing that the adjudicator had acted in breach of natural justice because he had determine the issue of delays and the builder's entitlement to an extension of time on the basis of his own knowledge and expertise, and failed to give the parties to comment on his methods. more »

Strong Arm Stuff

15 Mar 2011: Michael Phillips Architects was appointed by Mr. and Mrs. Rilkin to provide architectural services for the refurbishment of an old house they had bought in Lymington. From the beginning of the project, the defendants had been conscious of cost, and they had made this clear to the claimant. more »

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