Monthly Archives: August 2011

REUTERS | Ognen Teofilovski

William Shakespeare, Richard II:

“His rash fierce blaze of riot cannot last, for violent fires soon burn out themselves.”

August saw some of the worst civil commotion in decades, with riots in a number of English cities. Once the violence and looting was over, the clean-up began. The impact goes much wider than just the construction and engineering industry, and the government announced a number of measures to ease the pain. The ABI also issued guidance to its members. Continue reading

REUTERS | John Kolesidis

From 1 October 2011, for the first time, parties will be entitled to refer disputes arising under wholly or partly oral contracts entered into after this date to adjudication.

We will have to wait and see whether this change produces an avalanche of new claims but, even if it doesn’t, clients, their advisers, adjudicators and the courts will be presented with a variety of new challenges as a consequence of the change in the law. Continue reading

REUTERS | Kim Hong-Ji

A few weeks ago I read about a talk by Lord Hamilton, the president of the Scottish Court of Session, on adjudicator’s acting judicially and something called the Statement of Principles of Judicial Ethics for the Scottish Judiciary (see Tony Bingham, Building, 1 July 2011). Tony made the talk sound interesting so I googled it and took a look for myself. It is an interesting paper and well worth a read, if you have the time. Although it refers primarily to adjudication in Scotland, there is no reason why the principles advanced by Lord Hamilton cannot apply equally south of the border. In fact, a new English judiciary guide has recently been published.

Continue reading

REUTERS | Ronen Zvulun

Ramsey J has provided a helpful summary of the principles that apply in deciding the type and level of damages to be awarded in cases involving defective premises.

He did so in a case involving claims by freeholders of homes built at a development at Eden Park in Hartlepool during 2002 to 2004 (Harrison and others v Shepherd Homes Ltd and others [2011] EWHC 1811 (TCC)). Continue reading

REUTERS | Ilya Naymushin

I don’t know about you, but I often find that the introduction to a TCC judgment sets the tone of the dispute and (I’m embarrassed to say) influences whether I read the entire judgment or simply pick out the interesting bits and then turn to the end for the result.

I was certainly encouraged to read the entirety of Coulson J’s judgment in Jerram Falkus v Fenice Investments when I discovered that the parties had been “…extraordinarily promiscuous in their attempts at dispute resolution…”. (I have previously blogged on the parties’ dispute over the adjudicator’s fees in one of three adjudications that took place.) Continue reading

REUTERS | Mike Blake

What happens if a construction contract fails to comply with the adjudication requirements of the Construction Act 1996 (as amended)?

In particular, what if a Tolent clause offends the Construction Act 1996 (as amended)? Will the Scheme for Construction Contracts 1998’s adjudication provisions replace all the contractual adjudication provisions? Continue reading

REUTERS | Jose Miguel Gomez

So, after the tense negotiations, you have popped the champagne corks and finally have a building contract signed and completed. But now what? Do you let it become an attractive paperweight? Or is it going to be your Satnav – the tool that guides you through the construction process and helps you navigate any roadblocks along the way?

Continue reading

REUTERS | Eduardo Munoz

Last week I received a request from the solicitors for one of the parties in an adjudication to have more time to serve a submission. What made this request stand out was the reasons given, “because of the riots”. It isn’t a common reason, I’m pleased to say.

Of itself, a request for more time is not unusual. Such requests come in quite regularly from the parties or their representatives. It is a question of natural justice really. Continue reading

REUTERS | Petar Kujundzic

Michael Conroy Harris, senior legal manager (pictured) and Jeremy Irving, partner:

The current riots and disturbances in cities across England raise a number of issues relating to construction sites. These include fundamental health and safety issues but also important considerations in relation to any damage or delay caused to the works. Continue reading