REUTERS | Thomas Peter

It was all about construction, construction law that is

Last week, I attended Sweet and Maxwell’s tenth annual construction law conference. As the marketing material says, it was a full day that aimed to:

“…give construction lawyers a better understanding of how to overcome real-world challenges by providing context and insight from in-house speakers working on current major projects.”

Martin Potter, group legal counsel at Canary Wharf Group acted as chairperson and Simon Rawlinson, head of strategic research and insight at Arcadis gave the opening key note speech.

In a break from tradition, while much of the day took place in the auditorium with everyone present, lunch provided the filling of a break-out session sandwich, with the topics “Understanding your NEC contract” (by Stephen Carey and Ewan Maclean) and “EU procurement, challenges in the courts, Brexit and compliance” (by Simon Taylor and Paul Henty) the sandwich choice before lunch, and “Digital construction update and developments in BIM” (by May Winfield, Sarah Rock and Casey Rutland) and “PFI projects: Unforeseen legacy challenges, good faith, and investigations” (by Adrian Pound, Andrzej Grossman and Jonathan Hart) for afters.

Stephen Furst QC provided delegates with a case law update in the morning and, in the afternoon, Matt Molloy and Alastair Day chatted about some of the issues that arise in the context of construction disputes. Delegates also heard Steven Carey, Jeremy Mutter and Professor David Mosey discuss JVs, partnering, and supply chains and corporate governance.

Coulson J, the new Judge in Charge of the TCC, closed the day. He had followed the “adjudication with hats” session (as he called it), otherwise known as the mock adjudication provided by Alex Nissen QC, Lucy Garrett, James Thompson and Ben Sareen, with a debut by Tom Coulson as Mr LE Phant (complete with ears and trunk!).

Drinks and canapes rounded off what was a great, informative day. If you feel you missed out, the 2017 conference will be held in June, so keep an eye out here for more details.

Practical Law Michelle Rousell

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