Algernon Charles Swinburne, Atalanta in Calydon:
“For winter’s rains and ruins are over and all the season of snows and sins… And in green underwood and cover, blossom by blossom the spring begins.”
The first signs of spring may still feel a long way off but 6 April isn’t. In case you are unaware of the date’s significance, it is when the CDM 2015 come into force. During February we continued to prepare for that day, publishing a number of new resources (a note of frequently asked questions, five duty-holder checklists and a toolkit of our materials) and updating others (including our professional appointments). We also provided you with a comparison with the HSE’s draft regulations and told you that the JCT will publish amendment sheets.
Adjudication is a staple part of a construction litigator’s diet and the courts have considered a number of issues this month, including that:
- A referring party may cherry pick the issues that it refers to an adjudicator, but the adjudicator still has to address the issues referred to him.
- The adjudicator corrected his decision within the contractual time limit.
- In Scotland, the adjudicator’s contract was a supply of services contract with the adjudicator’s employer, which Matt Molloy discussed.
Jonathan Cope looked at spurious jurisdictional challenges and the suitability of adjudication for resolving professional negligence claims, and Matt Molloy considered how parties should present their case before the adjudicator.
Other courts have also been grappling with some interesting issues:
- The TCC granted declarations concerning the interpretation of a professional appointment and ordered that an arbitral award be set aside on the grounds of serious irregularity under the Arbitration Act 1996.
- The Court of Appeal confirmed that professional consultants were entitled to remuneration for preliminary services on a development.
- The High Court held that a party had no right to keep a repudiated contract alive and claim liquidated damages and penalised a successful defendant for failing to engage in ADR.
On the blogs front, Elizabeth Repper provided some tips for mediation, Tom Bain considered the pitfalls of back-to-back contracts, Jennie Wild highlighted the perils of pre-action protocol compliance and limitation periods, Michael Mendelblat looked at the redrafted ICC rules, Natalie Wardle discussed insurance and subrogation and Helen Turner reviewed ADR options in the Middle East.
Public procurement may not be everyone’s cup of tea but, if it is yours, you may be interested in the government’s response to a consultation on the transposition of the new EU procurement directives, a Scottish consultation on changing the public procurement rules and a policy note on reforms to make public procurement more accessible to SMEs. We told you about revising local authority standing orders, Michael Bowsher QC considered using a common formula for evaluating price in tender evaluations and we published January’s case digest and a note on utilities procurement. The High Court ruled that Winchester City Council acted unlawfully in varying an agreement with a developer without holding a new procurement exercise and lifted the automatic suspension of award of contract for an integrated IT system for the Pirbright Institute.
During February, a number of pieces of legislation came on to the statute books, which means there will be changes to the way a court considers negligence or breach of statutory duty in certain circumstances and the Third Parties (Rights against Insurers) Act 2010 will be brought into force during 2015.
Finally, in other news the Academy of Experts launched a model CV, BIS consulted on proposals to tackle late payment and Practical Law launched a new Arbitration homepage, which should make it easier to access all of our arbitration resources. It features international, English and other jurisdiction-specific arbitration resources and allows you to browse by topic, country or institution.