Dylan Thomas, A Child’s Christmas in Wales:
“It was snowing. It was always snowing at Christmas. December, in my memory, is white as Lapland, though there were no reindeers. But there were cats.”
December has been another grey and damp month, with a few falls of snow (even here in London). It has been enough to keep most people indoors, and we have had plenty to tell you about.
A number of interesting issues have been before the courts, including:
- A sub-contractor’s final account dispute, with obiter remarks about time at large and the Construction Act 1996 exceptions.
- Whether an individual gave a personal indemnity to secure an “on account” payment to the sub-contractor.
- The transfer of a CFA from one firm of solicitors to another, which was a novation rather than an assignment.
- How to interpret pricing schedules in the NEC3 Term Service Contract.
- Because of the draconian consequences, how final account notices have to be served, which Katharine Tulloch discussed.
- Whether a building contractor’s insolvency triggered liability under an ABI performance bond. Funnily enough, Karen Spencer discussed Perar and performance bonds just a couple of weeks earlier.
On the adjudication front, there was just one case, with the Court of Session looking at jurisdictional challenges. However, Catherine Piercy discussed serial adjudication, Matt Molloy looked at how getting payment notices right may avoid adjudication, and Jonathan Cope looked at set-off in adjudication and how to deal with the unavailability of witnesses and counsel.
In other news, it was a bit like alphabet soup, with the CMA’s bid-rigging tool, new EPC guidance, news of the HSE’s advisory network, NIC reports on improving infrastructure performance and digital resilience, the NHBC’s new undertakings, news of the RICS’ whole life carbon assessment and responses to the VAT fraud consultation.
Following the Grenfell Tower fire, the interim Hackett review was published, along with updated terms of reference for the industry response group on building safety. There was also a house building survey indicating the sector’s reliance on EU workers, a government report on infrastructure productivity, updated project bank account guidance in Wales, a procurement policy note on data protection changes, updated guidance on transparency in public procurement, and revised procurement thresholds.
On 11 January 2018, industry experts Rudi Klein, Paul Darling OBE QC, Jonathan Cope and Martin Potter will join representatives from Gowlings WLG and Practical Law Construction to take part in a forum discussing the adjudication, payment and retention consultations (which we told you about last month). There are still places available so, if you are interested in attending, please sign up by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
And finally, how about testing your knowledge with our 2017 Christmas quiz to see whether you are a naughty elf, Santa’s little helper or a red-nosed reindeer.