REUTERS | Andrew Winning

August 2012 digest: arbitration, adjudication and litigation

Pierre de Coubertin, the father of the modern Olympic Games:

“The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well.”

We are partway through the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games and, so far, the British team has exceeded all expectations, with 65 medals and a top three placing. That is one place higher and several medals more than the 47 that the team won in Beijing four years ago. Let’s hope for the same success in the Paralympic Games, which have just got underway.

Sport may have dominated the headlines and our attention this summer, but the cogs of the legal world have kept turning. For example, during August we have had judgments on:

The TCC published its 2010-2011 annual report, demonstrating its sustained high workload during the last three years with construction (40%) and adjudication (18%) issues accounting for the majority of new claims. The CJC also published revised guidance on instructing experts in civil matters (and we highlighted some of the difficulties expert witnesses face). Not every dispute ends up in court, as many parties opt for arbitration instead. We told you what concerns arbitration users the most and also explained the effect of the ICC arbitration reforms on construction and engineering disputes.

Topics in the spotlight this month have included the duty to warn on a construction site, a contract administrator’s impartiality, extensions of time, concurrent delay and global claims, the need for experts in professional negligence claims in adjudication, the meaning of due diligence and reasonable endeavours, a consultation on RIDDOR and unavailability deductions levied on PFI and PPP projects (twice). We also passed on some tips on preparing loss and expense claims.

New content this month included a note on FIDIC’s Yellow and Silver Books and Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP concluded its heptathlon series analysing the commercial impact of the Games with a piece on some of the legacy issues. We also have a substantially rewritten note on global claims, following Akenhead J’s judgment in Walter Lilly v Mackay. Jonathan Cope (the note’s author) has summarised his views.

With the ever-increasing extent of Welsh devolution, you may be interested to hear about governing law clauses and Welsh legislation, or to see Wales’ plans regarding Part L of the building regulations. In Scotland, there is a consultation on a Procurement Reform Bill for public procurement. Closer to home, we reminded you about our training materials.

Finally, from December 2012, the construction industry will have its second Chief Construction Adviser.

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