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News » Construction Law Updates

Construction Law Updates

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Pay less notices: clearing up confusion

1 Feb 2012: The Construction Act changes last autumn has caused uncertainty over pay less notices. Laura Phoenix from Thomas Eggar explains the criteria for an effective pay less notice, and clarifies the wording of the new act. more »

Contracts in writing again

19 Dec 2011: Camden Council's challenge to an adjudicator's awards has been dismissed by the Technology and Construction Court. The Council had argued that the adjudicator appointed to the dispute with contractor Sprunt Ltd. more »

Architect's duty to act fairly in certification and granting extensions of time

10 Nov 2011: An architect is under a duty to act fairly in certification and the granting of extensions of time. In the present case, the Superintendent had held the dual roles of project architect and Superintendent so that there was a real possibility of conflict. The employer was also under a duty to ensure that she arrived at a reasonable measurement of the value of the work. The court was entitled to open up and review her decisions. more »

Not a total failure

3 Nov 2011: P. C. Harrington claimed that it was not liable to pay an adjudicator's fees because there had been a "total failure of consideration". The adjudicator's decision had not been enforced because he had fallen below the standards required. more »

Contractual status of signed delivery dockets

29 Oct 2011: In Noreside Construction Ltd. v Irish Asphalt Ltd the issue was what were the terms of the supply contract between the parties, and the contractual status of the delivery dockets signed when aggregate was delivered to site. more »

10 key points about the Construction Act changes

18 Oct 2011: Alistair Kennedy, a solicitor in the construction team at Tods Murray, explains the key things to know about this month's changes to the Construct Act. more »

Leave to appeal against an arbitrator's decision for alleged error of law

10 Oct 2011: This was an application for leave to appeal against an arbitration award on the basis of legal error, and the first case of its kind to be brought under the Arbitration (Scotland) Act 2010, which came into force on 7 June 2010, and concerned a building contract more »

Rights and Obligations under Back-to-Back Contracts

4 Oct 2011: The parties’ dispute concerned the extent of the coverage of this alternative design for demolition and hoarding works. The letter of award for the subcontract stated that it was to be a lump sum fixed price contract and back-to-back with the main contract. Brington maintained that Cheerise was responsible for the design as this was a back-to-back contract. more »

No entitlement to damages for breach of land swap agreement

27 Sep 2011: but ... Failure to provide adequate alternative site was a breach... Both parties were house builders. more »

Surveyors Concurrently Liable in Tort and Contract

13 Sep 2011: Drivers Jonas has been held liable for damages of £18.05m for breach of duty of care in valuation of commercial property. The surveyors had held themselves out to be specialists and the claimants had been entitled to rely upon their advice when deciding whether or not to acquire a factory shopping outlet. more »

You can't blame it on us

5 Sep 2011: A hair dressing salon sued a contractor when a fire caused by a pump which the contractor had installed damaged the salon and spa. The contractor tried to pass on the blame to the supplier and manufacturer, but the court found that the contractor's omissions meant that it could not avoid liability more »

Contractor must lead evidence to prove that a clause is a penalty

8 Aug 2011: It was for the contractors challenging a clause which they claimed was a penalty to prove that it was not a genuine pre-estimate of damages. more »

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 »

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