A couple of weeks ago, Matt wrote about his tenth anniversary of blogging for Practical Law Construction. He mentioned my blogging birthday was also coming up. At the time, I wasn’t sure if I’d do a 10th birthday blog, after all, with Matt and John Hughes-D’Aeth celebrating the 10th anniversary, what more could there be to say?
As Matt talked about issues affecting adjudicators, and John reviewed a few of the important cases he’d written about over the last ten years, I thought I’d consider a few of my blogging “highlights”. I make no apologies for what is (and isn’t) included. It really is a random selection from the last ten years and is intended to illustrate the diversity of topics I’ve touched upon.
It all started with a piece on the Construction Contracts Bill 2008. Hardly anyone’s highlight, but we all have to start somewhere! It didn’t end there though, as I also looked at the payment provisions of the Construction Act (as we know it now) and the Scottish Scheme. We also had the repeal of section 107 and, more recently, another consultation to ponder (which I did, twice). Also, who can forget the great section 108 debate (both parts) and the development of the law on parties claiming costs (I’m comfortable that I called this one right!).
Earlier this year, I celebrated (if that is the right expression) 20 years of adjudication under the Construction Act.
There has also been something of a food theme in quite a few of my blogs. We’ve had chocolate mousse (something to do with good faith clauses), sunflower seeds and organic wheat (an appeal under section 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996), corn (being shipped from the Ukraine to Egypt), a Lebanese restaurant (where I talked about “feast or famine”), Marmite (it was to do with an offshore wind farm, not whether you are in the love or hate camp), whisky (which I realise might not be classed as a food) and a whole sweetshop full of goodies (black jacks, flying saucers, cola cubes, sherbet fountains and, of course, refreshers). I’ve also discussed “diets of taxation“.
More broadly, I’ve asked “what the Romans ever did for us?“, noted that my namesakes are a ballet dancer and long-dead English general, debated whether concurrent delay is “rarer than a hen’s tooth“, referred to the fact that buses often turn up in threes (especially after you’ve been waiting ages) (and this happened twice), made comparisons between adjudication challenges and Supermarket Sweep, quoted from EM Forster, put Donald Trump in the same box as Marmite (quite understandably, in my view), and I even managed to get Katie Price and Peter Andre in the same sentence as Tony Blair and Gordon Brown (which wasn’t that easy to do).
I’ve also looked a number of times at the long-running dispute over the baggage handling system at Gatwick’s south terminal, and I’ve discussed superyachts with bad paint jobs (and helicopter pads), the allegedly defective pipework in a Northumberland paint factory, a dispute over the design of street lighting in Lewisham and Croydon, and a sewage works dispute. I got in a jam on the M25, discussed Biffa’s waste lorries in a dispute about the design of a waste to energy plant, talked about fertility in the context of a composting facility in Devon and asked Thomasina a number of hypothetical questions.
I’ve even managed to reference giraffes and Christmas games, along with flamingos, opera and the “new” payment rules in the same post (well, two separate posts to be exact). Prince George also got a mention: another week, it was his parents’ wedding and Paul Daniels’ magic! One December it was Ebenezer Scrooge and all those ghosts.
Figuratively speaking, I’ve been to Australia (to discuss payment security), Hong Kong (to talk about statutory adjudication), Gibraltar (to look at conditions precedent), the Gulf of Mexico (for arbitrator bias), the American wild west (for natural justice issues) and Scotland many times (but this was my first time).
Closer to home, there was a “trip” to the Westonbirt Arboretum, the University of Bath, Poole harbour in Dorset, the development next to the O2, One Angel Court, the rugby ground at Twickenham, Camden, and Plumbers Row, which are all in London.
…and I actually went to Chicago earlier this year (and Ireland in 2014 to talk about their Construction Act).
Did you spot all the song references over the last 10 years?
Matt and I have included many, many song references in our posts. Far too many to mention here, so I’ll leave you to look back and try to find them (and to give you a clue, some are really obvious, like Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Dire Straits, the Clash, Soft Cell and Will Smith, others are far more discrete, including today’s one). However, we always give you a link to watch (usually on YouTube).
I’m going to end this review with a favourite quote (which I’ve tweaked):
“I have made this [blog] longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter.”