- July 26, 2017
NEC4 and standard form sociology
As everyone who is anyone knows, the NEC4 suite was launched in London last month. The event on 22 June was quite a draw: I can’t recall our clients ever before attending in such numbers the official unveiling of a standard form contract. That is usually a niche pastime. It is testament to just how … Continue reading NEC4 and standard form sociology →
- April 19, 2017
Assignment: rights about turn?
A couple of years ago, in a post called Guilty as charged? Or how to get rights wrong, I queried the common practice of an employer assigning its rights under the project documents (building contract and appointments) to its funder. Surely the person who needs to enforce these rights is the employer? The interests of … Continue reading Assignment: rights about turn? →
- March 22, 2017
NEC: A spirit of mutual trust and comprehension?
Everyone knows that NEC contracts are different. Their fans and detractors are both quick to tell us. And no NEC clause is quite so eye-catching as clause 10.1. Famously it says (in its ECC form): “The Employer, the Contractor, the Project Manager and the Supervisor shall act as stated in this contract and in a … Continue reading NEC: A spirit of mutual trust and comprehension? →
- August 10, 2016
Excluding liability for terrorism
One of our clients was recently surprised to see a consultant engineer request a complete exclusion of liability relating to terrorism. Could this be correct, especially for a project in central London? In many cases, shouldn’t designing to take account of terrorism, unpredictable and callous though it is, be an essential part of the professional … Continue reading Excluding liability for terrorism →
- March 23, 2016
Risky businesses and cottage industries
Last week I went to a presentation on systemic risks in major engineering projects. It certainly got me thinking. What sort of risks really matter to clients, funders and other project stakeholders? High on the list for international projects or major UK infrastructure projects are such things as brownfield risk, the regulatory and political environment, … Continue reading Risky businesses and cottage industries →
- April 8, 2015
Emerging principals? Implementing CDM 2015
CDM 2015 finally went live on Monday. It’s early days, but are there any patterns emerging as to how the new Regulations will be implemented? I think there may be, given what we are seeing and discussions I’ve had with developers, consultants and others.
- January 28, 2015
Guilty as charged? Or how to get rights wrong
Should a developer ever be expected to give away its rights as employer under a building contract? You may think the short answer is no, and certainly not when the contractor is about to start work on site or in the middle of the build period. This is precisely when the developer needs to be … Continue reading Guilty as charged? Or how to get rights wrong →
- November 20, 2013
Do provisional sums always add up?
If you like puzzles, I’ve got some for you: they’re called provisional sums. Most people in the construction and engineering sectors are aware of provisional sums since they appear in many contracts and price build-ups. However, the impression I have is that “provisional sums” mean quite different things to different people. Perhaps a bigger puzzle … Continue reading Do provisional sums always add up? →
- October 17, 2012
Liability caps: does Ampleforth have anything to teach RIBA?
I recently blogged on Ampleforth Abbey Trust v Turner & Townsend Project Management Ltd and how the court in that case held that the liability cap in the project manager’s standard terms did not pass the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977’s (UCTA) test of reasonableness. RIBA’s recent announcement that it is about to release a … Continue reading Liability caps: does Ampleforth have anything to teach RIBA? →
- September 26, 2012
Liability caps: When the cap doesn’t fit
This blog post looks at liability caps in professional appointments following Ampleforth Abbey Trust v Turner & Townsend Project Management Ltd (last week we considered letters of intent in light of the same case). In Ampleforth, the project manager’s appointment contained a provision that limited its liability under the appointment. HHJ Keyser QC had to … Continue reading Liability caps: When the cap doesn’t fit →
- February 2, 2011
Does the royal wedding bank holiday entitle a contractor to an extension of time?
A client recently raised this question in the context of a project using the NEC3 ECC. It throws up a number of issues including whether the bank holiday: Is a change in law. Is a Compensation Event under clause 60.1(19). Entitles employees to an additional days holiday.
- May 12, 2010
Letters of intent in NEC projects
There are obvious and well-documented risks associated with contracting on the basis of a letter of intent (LOI). What is less obvious is that different forms of contract raise particular challenges when it comes to framing LOIs. This was brought home to me recently when I looked at an LOI for works to be let … Continue reading Letters of intent in NEC projects →
- June 30, 2009
Is stepping-in the answer?
What is the practical value of step-in rights in collateral warranties? I ask because a number of people have recently questioned me about such rights in the context of a development project: who requires them and in which warranties?