Kim Kyung-Hoon
REUTERS | Kim Kyung-Hoon
Kim Kyung-Hoon
REUTERS | Kim Kyung-Hoon

What did I do before I downloaded my Uber app? I can’t imagine life without it. The latest wave of technology is revolutionising the way construction and engineering projects are managed, and very soon we won’t be able to remember how we lived without it.

The importance of keeping site records

The current problem is that site records are often kept sporadically, if they are kept at all.  New technology, including apps that are downloaded onto the user’s mobile phone, is making record keeping more user-friendly, which in turn makes it more likely that all those involved in the project will use it. The end result should be an increase in the amount and standard of record keeping. Continue reading

REUTERS | Corbis

Lord Denning, Parker v Parker:

“What is the argument on the other side? Only this, that no case has been found in which it has been done before. That argument does not appeal to me in the least. If we never do anything which has not been done before, we shall never get anywhere. The law will stand still while the rest of the world goes on, and that will be bad for both.”

The first half of 2015 has seen a number of important decisions affecting construction and engineering practitioners. Continue reading

Navesh Chitrakar
REUTERS | Navesh Chitrakar

Geoffrey Boycott, on the best way to play Shane Warne:

“My tactic would be to take a quick single and observe him from the other end.”

We haven’t had a sporting reference for quite some time in the monthly digest, but the Ashes are almost upon us. With England having won the one-day series against New Zealand and Andy Murray victorious at Queen’s, it seems apt to mention these achievements, lest it is a long summer against Australia, even without Shane Warne in the bowling line-up (after all, they do have Mitchell Johnson, Shane Watson et al).

For those who have been distracted by sport, during June we saw a number of interesting judgments, not least the Supreme Court’s judgment in Aspect v Higgins. As the first Supreme Court decision on adjudication, the judgment has attracted considerable attention. Isabel Hitching explained the case and its implications and Alastair Walls discussed issues from a practitioner’s perspective. Continue reading

Tobias Schwarz
REUTERS | Tobias Schwarz

The people of London and the UK should be proud of the London Underground, and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that without it, London would not be the international powerhouse it is today. Imagine if all of the journeys made by tube each day were made by bus and car? Chaos would ensue.

The tube is now 150 years old and stations have been upgraded due to their age and wear and tear, as well as to accommodate other developments in London. Currently, many of the stations that are at interchanges with Crossrail are undergoing redevelopment. For example, Bond Street is currently in the midst of a £300 million upgrade in order to cope with the expected increase of 70,000 passengers per day.

Given the scope and complexity of projects such as Bond Street, TfL and its contractors are realistic enough to know that there is the potential for disputes. While adjudication is obviously available to them, the need was identified for something more flexible and less adversarial, in order that disputes could be “nipped in the bud” at an early stage. TfL and its contractors have therefore worked with RICS and together they have developed a Conflict Avoidance Panel (CAP). I am on the list of available CAP members, so thought I would try and answer some FAQs. Continue reading

Jumana El Heloueh
REUTERS | Jumana El Heloueh

In this blog we consider building information modelling (BIM) in the Middle East and some of the key issues you should be aware of as the use of BIM becomes more prevalent in the region.

BIM is being used with increasing frequency on some of the major infrastructure projects in the Middle East. For those unfamiliar with it, BIM is the digital representation of a project from concept design through to construction and operation.  Continue reading

Yves Herman
REUTERS | Yves Herman

There have now been four court judgments in Singapore relating to the enforceability of a dispute adjudication board’s (DAB) decision under the FIDIC Red Book form of contract.

The latest judgment is PT Perusahaan Gas Negara (Persero) TBK v CRW Joint Operation, which was handed down on 27 May 2015, and is discussed in greater detail here. It now appears that the way should be clear for the contractor to enforce the DAB’s decision, but it has taken it nearly seven years to reach this point.

What lessons can be drawn from this saga? Continue reading

Sukree Sukplang
REUTERS | Sukree Sukplang

Aspect v Higgins is the first case relating to adjudication or the Scheme for Construction Contracts 1998 to reach the Supreme Court. Indeed, so far as I am aware, it is the first case to reach the highest court since the House of Lords decided Melville Dundas v Wimpey in 2007. Accordingly, adjudication practitioners have been eagerly awaiting the decision, which was issued on 17 June 2015. Continue reading

Stefan Wermuth
REUTERS | Stefan Wermuth

It has been a while since I’ve looked at issues relating to bias and judicial recusal. This is partly because, until recently, we had lots of adjudication-related things to write about (although Jonathan does seem to have put the kibosh on that one). However, it seems these issues are still ripe for consideration in court proceedings, as the three cases that follow testify. Continue reading

Eddie Keogh
REUTERS | Eddie Keogh

The Supreme Court has handed down judgment in Aspect Contracts (Asbestos) Ltd v Higgins Construction plc, determining by what cause of action and by what date a paying party that is dissatisfied with the substance of an adjudicator’s decision needs to issue proceedings to seek to recover that payment.

The issues

In most cases a dispute is referred to adjudication well within the limitation periodAdjudication is designed to aid cash-flow and a party seeking payment rarely waits until the end of the limitation period to commence an adjudication. Nor does a paying party usually wait many years to recover a payment that it has made following an adjudication. However:

  • Is it necessary for a paying party to seek a final determination of the dispute within the limitation period applying to the claim, or does it have six years from payment to bring its claim to court?
  • If the paying party seeks a final determination and loses can the party that was only partially successful in the adjudication recover more than has already been paid?

Continue reading

Lucy Nicholson
REUTERS | Lucy Nicholson

In the current overheated commercial property market, we are seeing ever more lively debates about who should take the risk of defects in existing structures on refurbishment projects. As landlords look to refurbish properties in order to capitalise on rising rents and owner-occupiers choose to tart up their existing premises rather than pay those rising rents, good contractors are in high demand and can afford to take a much more risk averse approach to this aspect of contract negotiations.  Continue reading