Just when you thought there could be no more surprises as Brexit unfolds, Theresa May popped out of No 10 to announce that there will be a general election on 8 June to bring “strong leadership” to the country. She explained that:
“At this moment of enormous national significance there should be unity here in Westminster, but instead there is division… Division in Westminster will risk our ability to make a success of Brexit and it will cause damaging uncertainty and instability to the country. So we need a general election and we need one now…”
She may say there is “no turning back” from leaving the European Union, but this is a u-turn on a post-referendum election, and a change to the timetable of when general elections should be held. We may not know what the next surprise is, but one thing is clear, we certainly should expect a few more along the Brexit road.
Back in the world of construction, electronic filing became mandatory in the TCC in the Rolls Building in London, there was news of a fixed costs pilot in Manchester and we learnt that the new “Business and Property Courts” will launch in Birmingham in July.
In adjudication, a party’s application to sever parts of the adjudicator’s decision was declined (which Charles Pimlott considered) and an adjudicator’s decision that there was one contract was upheld. Jonathan Cope looked at the judgment in Bell Building Projects Ltd v Arnold Clark Automobiles Ltd and Matt Molloy discussed the judgments in NKT Cables A/S v SP Power Systems Ltd and RCS Contractors Ltd v Conway. Matt also highlighted the need for expert witnesses to disclose potential conflicts of interest.
Other judgments of note this month included:
- The TCC looking at the meaning of “accidental” in an insurance policy, deciding that an exclusion clause was reasonable (which Lucy Garrett explained further) and allowing a consent order to be amended.
- Cardiff County Court holding that a failure to control Japanese Knotweed was an actionable nuisance.
- The Court of Appeal upholding the decision in Lejonvarn v Burgess (that a professional consultant owed a duty of care for services performed for friends) and highlighting the need for judicial restraint when questioning witnesses.
- The Supreme Court’s interpretation of an indemnity in a share purchase agreement and its finding that procurement damages are confined to serious breaches.
On the contract front, we told you when JCT is withdrawing its 2011 Editions, Yassir Mahmood explained what to expect from NEC4, Tom Coulson looked at exclusive remedy clauses, Iain Suttie questioned why funders insist on employers assigning their rights under project documents and Michael Sergeant discussed variations and delay.
In other news, major changes to insolvency procedures came into force, there was a new consumer code for home builders and Katy Wall looked at the growth of the electricity interconnector market. We also provided you with a quarterly case review.