Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland:
“I have answered three questions, and that is enough’, said his father; ‘don’t give yourself airs! Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?'”
July 2013 may have been the third warmest and third sunniest on record (and the driest since 2006), but it all went with a bang at the beginning of August, with the return of our more familiar “summer” weather. The cloud and rain definitely had an impact on the outcome of the third test at Old Trafford, stopping play and allowing England to retain the smallest trophy known to sporting types before the start of the shooting season. The Ashes wasn’t over though and, in the fourth test, a demon bowling display from Stuart Broad meant we won the series outright. Even then there was more to come, with the fifth a nail-bitter, finishing in a draw with just four overs left to bowl.
The rain’s return also coincided with the start of the school holidays. Many may have escaped the UK’s shores for sunnier climates, but those who stayed have witnessed a rather quieter month than of late.
During August, Practical Law Construction joined the Ask party, and started publishing subscribers’ questions and our replies. If you need help, you can contact our team using the “Ask a question” button on the Practical Law Construction homepage. You are also welcome to comment on any answer we publish, so do feel free to add your insights from practice to the discussion. Our last Ask the team, looked at whether it is safe to use correspondence as a contract document.
People may be more familiar with commenting on our blogs and, during August, we saw a number of interesting topics under discussion:
- Matt Molloy considered expert witnesses’ duties to the court under CPR Part 35 and looked at the unpredictability of applying for a stay in adjudication enforcement proceedings.
- Practical Law Construction highlighted the possibility of claiming adjudication costs in litigation after Akenhead J’s judgment in National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside v AEW and PIHL/Galliford Try.
- Richard Benn revisited the purview doctrine.
- Jonathan Cope wondered whether costs budgeting will encourage parties to arbitrate instead of litigate and considered whether dispute board members should also be arbitrators.
The courts may be in recess until the Michaelmas term starts in October, but a number of judgments were still published, considering:
- Whether an adjudicator’s decision should be enforced, or whether there should be a stay of execution.
- The consequences of failing to file a costs budget on time.
- The meaning of a no greater liability clause in a collateral warranty.
- Whether there was apparent bias and a judge should have recused himself because of it.
In other news, we saw the government launch a consultation on housing standards, publish the latest edition of its construction pipeline and consult on allowable solutions for zero carbon homes. Elsewhere, the Welsh Government cut its targets for zero carbon buildings, the European Commission published a consultation on liability for accidents at nuclear power plants and the BPP published a green lease toolkit.
On the public procurement front, the Scottish government published a rapid evidence review to inform the development of its Procurement Reform Bill, we published July’s monthly public procurement digest and we told you about the key policy developments from June to August 2013.