Monthly Archives: August 2010

REUTERS | Alex Domanski

What do you do when your contractor is in delay, but a key part  of the works is substantially complete and could be used? You don’t have all the technical documents, such as your as-built programmes and operating manuals, and the tests haven’t been fully completed yet. Despite this, the needs of your business are pressurising you to use what is, after all, a substantially ready asset.

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REUTERS | Beawiharta

Much has been written about section 107 of the Construction Act 1996 and the meaning of “in writing“, not to mention the myriad of case law on the point. In the last few years, a fair number of paragraphs have also been devoted to the changes in the LDEDC Act 2009 that, if they ever come into force, will delete section 107 and remove this requirement for construction contracts. Continue reading

REUTERS | Adrees Latif

Parties are free to agree that a dispute will be referred to adjudication, even if the Construction Act 1996 does not apply to their contract or there is no contractual adjudication clause. Such ad-hoc adjudications are nothing new. As HHJ Gilliland QC said (in Nordot Engineering Services Ltd v Siemens PLC, CILL September 2001), when drawing an analogy with arbitration:

“I can see no reason, as a matter of law, why parties cannot agree to abide by the decision of a third party if they so wish… why should it not be appropriate in the case of adjudication.” Continue reading

REUTERS | Mike Blake

Chalbury McCouat International Ltd v PG Foils Ltd shows the English courts’ willingness to support the process of arbitration, where that is what the parties intended. It also reminds us that if the dispute resolution clause is properly thought out in the first place, parties can avoid getting into disputes about dispute resolution.
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REUTERS | Carlos Barria

I have a client whose next-door neighbour is happy with my client’s proposed works to his property, but my client knows from past experience that the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 (PWA 1996) may affect him. Because my client and the neighbour agree what will be done, how it will be done and when it will be done, do they still need to use the Act’s machinery?

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REUTERS | Christian Charisius

I wonder what would happen if I used words such as “I declare I have jurisdiction” every time a responding party challenged my jurisdiction and invited me to consider it.

I’m sure everyone is familiar with adjudicators making non-binding decisions on their own jurisdiction, but do parties really analyse the language adjudicators use when they give their answer? I suspect they do, if the matters makes it to court on enforcement, but perhaps not otherwise. Continue reading

REUTERS | Andrew Winning

It’s not unusual for a commercial or residential property development to run into trouble. In particular, in 2007 and 2008, when a run of boom years came to an abrupt end, developers had to urgently postpone or cancel many of their schemes. Some delays and cancellations inevitably led to disputes.

One of these, the Gold Group (alias Ann Summers) and Barratt saga, has now come to an end in the TCC, which gave judgment last month. Continue reading