Darren Whiteside
REUTERS | Darren Whiteside
Darren Whiteside
REUTERS | Darren Whiteside

In keeping with Jonathan’s recent theme of using judicial quotes as blog post titles, I thought I’d do the same. This week, I’ve gone for Jackson LJ in the Court of Appeal in Balfour Beatty v Grove Developments. Jackson LJ went on in that paragraph to say:

“The court will not, indeed cannot, use the canons of construction to rescue one party from the consequences of what that party has clearly agreed. There is no ambiguity in the present case which enables the court to reinterpret the parties’ contract in accordance with ‘commercial common sense’…”

Some may question whether the parties has turned their minds to the situation they faced at all and that, if they had, they would be taken to have agreed what the words in the contract said. Continue reading

Toby Melville
REUTERS | Toby Melville

A new judicial tribunal has been set up in Dubai to bridge conflicts arising between the jurisdiction of the local Dubai courts and the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) courts.

The new tribunal has the power to issue binding decisions on which court should hear a particular dispute when there is a conflict between the two. Any underlying proceedings will be put on hold until the tribunal makes a decision.

Where judgments have been handed down by both courts, the tribunal can decide which is to be enforced. Continue reading

Thomas Peter
REUTERS | Thomas Peter

Last week, I attended Sweet and Maxwell’s tenth annual construction law conference. As the marketing material says, it was a full day that aimed to:

“…give construction lawyers a better understanding of how to overcome real-world challenges by providing context and insight from in-house speakers working on current major projects.”

Continue reading

Bobby Yip
REUTERS | Bobby Yip

Hong Kong is a dynamic and innovative city, identifiable by its skyline dominated with densely packed skyscrapers. It is known for its expertise in construction of high-rise buildings and complex projects and is increasingly in demand to export its expertise to overseas markets.

In this blog post I look at the legal developments that are moulding the construction landscape in Hong Kong, and providing continued support to growth in this sector. Continue reading

Pascal Rossignol
REUTERS | Pascal Rossignol

My last post considered a Fraser J judgment (Beumer Group v Vinci Construction) and used a line from the judgment as the title. This post does the same, only this time the judgment is Amey Wye Valley Ltd v Hereford DC. No Will Smith reference on this occasion though, just a case about roads and highway maintenance.

Michael Curtis QC and Charles Pimlott (who acted for the council) discussed the case at the time and addressed some of the key issues. It’s arguable that they highlighted why it is sometimes sensible for the same adjudicator to be appointed in serial adjudications (but that’s another story). I want to look at two aspects of the judgment, which I think are the most interesting, mistake and severance.

Continue reading

Building facade

In Balfour Beatty v Grove Developments, the Court of Appeal has upheld, by a majority of 2-1, the TCC’s first instance decision and concluded that the contractor had no right to receive interim payments after the planned date of practical completion.

The judgment not only addresses a number of interesting points of contractual construction arising out of the parties’ bespoke contract amendments, but also contains a discussion of section 109 of the Construction Act 1996, which will be of more general importance to practitioners. Continue reading

Nikola Solic
REUTERS | Nikola Solic

The general rule for compensation is stated in the well-known judgment of Livingstone v The Rawyards Coal Company:

“… where any injury is to be compensated by damages, in settling the sum of money to be given for reparation of damages, you should as nearly as possible get at that sum of money which will put the party who has been injured, or who has suffered, in the same position as he would have been in if he had not sustained the wrong for which he is now getting his compensation or reparation.”

This note considers changes in value that may affect the application of that compensation principle. Continue reading

Dominic Ebenbichler
REUTERS | Dominic Ebenbichler

It’s funny how things go. It was only a few weeks ago that I wrote about the dispute resolution procedure that CEDR publishes designed for “PFI and long-term contracts”. Now, we have a court judgment looking at an adjudicator’s decision arising out of a PFI contract for the roads and streets lighting network in Birmingham. Given HHJ Mark Raeside QC’s judgment in Amey Birmingham Highways Ltd v Birmingham City Council prints to over 100 pages, I wonder how many of you are familiar with it? Continue reading

Ilya Naymushin
REUTERS | Ilya Naymushin

On 29 September 2016, at a private low-key ceremony in London, representatives from three of the world’s most powerful nations (France, China and the UK) met in order to sign a historic energy agreement. The goal: to build Britain’s first nuclear power plant in a generation. When completed in 2025 (if all goes to plan), Hinkley Point C will join two existing Somerset plants (Hinkley Points A and B) with a view to single-handedly supplying 7% of the UK’s energy needs. By that time, almost all of the eight currently-operating nuclear power stations (which together supply 20% of present-day demand) will be either closed or slated for decommissioning. Continue reading

Robert Galbraith
REUTERS | Robert Galbraith

In a decision handed down earlier this week, Fraser J has held that Herefordshire District Council (HDC) is entitled to have Mr Matt Molloy’s adjudication decision, in the sum of £10 million, enforced. The judge did not accept the contractor, Amey Wye Valley Ltd’s, submissions that Mr Molloy’s decision was inconsistent with Mr Mark Entwistle’s earlier adjudication decision. Continue reading