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Thu December 07 2023

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Cheesegrater bolt saga finally comes to an end

25 Apr 19 When huge bolts started to fall off the Cheesegrater in November 2014, just months after construction completed, the legal battles began. Four-and-a-half years later, the affair has now been settled.

122 Leadenhall Street
122 Leadenhall Street

Structural steelwork contractor Severfield revealed in a trading update to shareholders this morning that: “Following extensive negotiations with all stakeholders, we have now agreed a final settlement for the remedial bolt replacement works at Leadenhall, resulting in no further costs for the group.”

In its 2015 accounts Severfield wrote off £6m for the costs of the bolt replacement work, in advance of any legal settlement.

The 47-storey Cheesegrater, officially called The Leadenhall Building is at 122 Leadenhall Street in the City of London. It was built by Laing O'Rourke for developer British Land, with Arup as structural engineer and Severfield as structural steelwork subcontractor.

Even during construction, Severfield had technical problems, losing £10m on the initial project and costing chief executive Tom Haughey his job. 

Further costs were incurred when bolts began falling off the 238-metre skyscraper in November 2014. Tests found that bolts were fracturing due to hydrogen embrittlement, a material failure mechanism within the bolt material. The subsequent bolt replacement programme took the best part of a year in 2015 but the dispute about liability continued. It has only now finally been settled, with no further costs for Severfield.

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