REUTERS | Vasily Fedosenko

July 2013 digest: another summer of sport and the Royal family

JM Barrie, Peter Pan:

“When the first baby laughed for the first time, the laugh broke into a thousand pieces and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies.”

This time last year we were all talking about the Queen’s jubilee celebrations and the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. A year on and there is another summer of great sport underway, with the Anniversary Games, success for Andy Murray at Wimbledon and Chris Froome in the Tour de France and, hopefully, the England cricket team in the Ashes. We also have the Royal family in the news again, this time with the arrival of baby George Alexander Louis.

There have been some interesting developments in the legal world too.

Adjudication enforcement judgments have been a bit thin on the ground, but this month the TCC has considered several issues, including whether:

  • One party’s financial position meant that there should be a stay of enforcement proceedings (it didn’t), which Matt Molloy discussed.
  • A parent company guarantee was sufficient to prevent a stay of enforcement proceedings (it was).
  • The adjudicator breached the rules of natural justice by looking at a contract clause the parties did not refer to (he did), which Jonathan Cope discussed.
  • One party could set-off or withhold against an adjudicator’s decision (it couldn’t), which Charles Pimlott discussed.

Other court judgments include the:

  • Commercial Court considering the validity of a demand made under a performance bond.
  • TCC awarding indemnity costs where the parties failed to settle and the claimant advanced poor expert evidence, which Matt Molloy discussed.
  • TCC imposing costs penalties for parties who should have settled sooner.
  • Court of Appeal holding a one-month delay did not give rise to a right to terminate the contract.
  • TCC finding a contractor not liable in contract or nuisance for damage to a sewer caused by concrete.

It has also been a bumper month for public procurement news, with the courts refusing to amend a claim form, dismissing an application that a claim was time-barred and refusing to order specific disclosure. Elsewhere, we have seen a report on government procurement, an agreement on a package of EU reforms, a Welsh construction procurement strategy, an update on modernising the procurement rules, guidance on tax compliance in procurement and a consultation on PF2. We also told you about June’s key public  procurement cases and other noteworthy procurement news, and Adrian Magnus and Stuart Stock discussed the “in-house” exception.

In other news, Natalie Wardle discussed the breach of good faith obligations in construction contracts, Elizabeth King discussed BIM, we told you about issuing contracts with electronic copies of drawings, we published a note on the Construction 2025 industrial strategy, Elizabeth Repper continued her series on mediation, with a look at recent case law on mediation and costs management, Matt Molloy considered Walter Lilly v Mackay and we published a half-year case review.

On the environment and health and safety front, the government unveiled its changes to Part L of the Building Regulations, the HSE published draft RIDDOR guidance, the EU is consulting on sustainable buildings, the CDM Regulations are changing and the Welsh government is introducing sprinkler systems and other changes to Part L of the Building Regulations.

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