Heinz-Peter Bader
REUTERS | Heinz-Peter Bader
Heinz-Peter Bader
REUTERS | Heinz-Peter Bader

The recent wave of major infrastructure projects in London has produced a number of collateral benefits. Key among these has been the opportunity it has afforded to leading clients to focus on the legacy impact of their projects for the industry as a whole. Enlightened leaders such as David Higgins and John Armitt (Olympic Delivery Authority), Terry Morgan (Crossrail) and Andy Mitchell (Thames Tideway) have used their influence and buying power to promote a range of initiatives within their supply chain, with a view to improving the sustainability of the construction sector in the longer term. Continue reading

Ricardo Moraes
REUTERS | Ricardo Moraes

We don’t see many construction arbitration cases come to appeal in the TCC. Therefore, Carr J’s judgment in John Sisk & Son Ltd v Carmel Building Services Ltd is a useful reminder that one of the advantages of arbitration is that, unless the parties have agreed otherwise, they can appeal points of law under section 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996. This is obviously unlike adjudication, although I’m sure some adjudication users would also like the right to be able to appeal points of law! Continue reading

Vasily Fedosenko
REUTERS | Vasily Fedosenko

Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Locksley Hall:

“Forward, forward let us range, let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change.”

This month saw a number of legislative changes that will impact on construction practitioners, including significant changes to costs management, new public procurement regulations (which Stella Mitchell and Kate Wall discussed) and amendments to the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS). The government’s mandate requiring BIM level 2 for all centrally procured government projects also came into effect this month. Continue reading

Stefano Rellandini
REUTERS | Stefano Rellandini

Carr J’s judgment in J Murphy & Sons Ltd v Beckton Energy Ltd offers a salutary reminder of the dangers that can befall a contractor when dealing with an unfamiliar amended contract. Not getting to grips with the operation of amended clauses, and the interplay between them, can be a trap for the unwary, as J Murphy & Sons found out to its cost. It is critical that parties know and understand the operation of the terms they are agreeing to before entering into the contract. Continue reading

Fadi Al-Assaad
REUTERS | Fadi Al-Assaad

As the Gulf nations enter a period of readjustment following the oil price rout and debate continues about where the price of crude is heading, the fact remains that infrastructure projects are being impacted by dwindling funding opportunities. In turn, this increases the temptation to “press the termination button” throughout the contracting chain.

Sector downturn leads to an increase in the rate of contract terminations, as the construction industry knows all too well. Whatever the originally anticipated outcome of the Doha meeting between oil producing and exporting nations on 17 April 2016, an upturn in fortunes was always unlikely to be speedy. For this reason, a review of the law surrounding the termination of contracts in Qatar seems timely. Continue reading

Eric Gaillard
REUTERS | Eric Gaillard

We don’t often see adjudicators’ decisions severed. Therefore, it came as a bit of a surprise to get to the end of Carr J’s judgment in Stellite v Vascroft and find that not only did she sever those parts of the adjudicator’s decision she held to be made in excess of jurisdiction, the parties had agreed to this somewhat pragmatic course or, in judicial parlance, it was “common ground” that the decision could be severed. (In case you missed it, it is tucked away in paragraph 89.)

Aside from the severance point, I also thought the arguments on jurisdiction were interesting, especially as the approach adopted allowed the “good” parts of the adjudicator’s decision to survive a natural justice challenge. Continue reading

Nigel Roddis
REUTERS | Nigel Roddis

Back in 2011, when Jeremy Corbyn was a mere back-bencher and few of us were aware of what an emoji was, I wrote a blog on the amendments to the Construction Act 1996. The blog arose from a panel debate held by the Adjudication Society concerning the amendments to the Act’s payment provisions. Five years on, some of the questions raised and issues discussed make for interesting reading.

It is also interesting to note what wasn’t discussed. For example, nobody appears to have foreseen the ISG v Seevic point that a payer cannot refer to adjudication the merits of an interim valuation where an adjudicator has already awarded payment as a result of the payer’s failure to serve an effective payment notice and/or pay less notice. Continue reading

Jumana ElHeloueh
REUTERS | Jumana ElHeloueh

Unlike 18 April 1930, when the BBC reported there was no news and played out with piano music, 18 April 2016 is an important date for utilities and their suppliers. Today the Utilities Contracts Regulations 2006 will be replaced by the Utilities Contracts Regulations 2016, transposing the Utilities Directive 2014/25/EU into law in England, Wales and Scotland. The new regulations extend the principles that have applied to public bodies since April 2015 under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 to utilities and concession contracts.

These changes have been introduced to codify case law, simplify procedures, provide additional flexibility and facilitate the market participation of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups.

So what do we need to be aware of? Here are some of the key changes and messages to consider. Continue reading

Grass in front of office buildings

Coulson J’s opening remarks in Penten Group Ltd v Spartafield Ltd set the scene for what followed, and for what I am going to discuss this week – serial adjudication:

“And now the wheel has turned again and the courts are grappling with the consequences of what might be termed serial adjudication.

…this is a case bedevilled by the almost maniacal desire of the parties to issue notices of adjudication against each other. This impulse seems to have overwhelmed every other consideration. I note too that this has not always been successfully translated into action. I have seen at least five notices of adjudication, and I am told that there might be as many as nine in total.” Continue reading