REUTERS | Petar Kujundzic

November 2009 digest: rainfall, climate change and Copenhagen

In the words of Guns N’ Roses (in November Rain):

“‘Cause nothin’ lasts forever
Even cold November rain”

or, if we want to be a bit more highbrow, in the words of Sir Walter Scott:

“November’s sky is chill and drear,
November’s leaf is red and sear.”

In a month that saw some parts of the country receive more rainfall than ever before recorded in Britain, the Queen’s speech announced Parliament’s legislative programme, including the fact there is going to be a Flood Bill, dealing with a wide range of issues relating to water, flood and coastal erosion risk management.

It wasn’t just the weather that was muddy, the industry’s reputation still looks in need of a good shower as the bid-rigging enquiry from the competition authorities enters a new phase, with sixteen companies appealing against their fines (it was seven and then nine more lodged appeals), as the OFT released the full transcript of its decision.

Still on the subject of the weather, the climate conference in Copenhagen is just around the corner, and we published a blog post on the likely outcome of the conference, materials on the Carbon Reduction Commitment and a consultation on improving the resilience of critical infrastructure.

Much closer to home, after much debate and lobbying, the LDEDC Bill 2008 became the LDEDC Act 2009 after it was approved by the House of Lords and received Royal Assent; and the industry finally got its first Chief Construction Adviser (CCA).

In the courts, fitness for habitation was defined; assignment of benefit and burden was considered; letters of intent were under the spotlight; the meaning of “subject to contract” was considered; and Ramsey J looked at whether wrongful suspension by a contractor was a repudiatory breach of contract.

On the adjudication front, a party tried to rely on fraud as a defence to adjudication enforcement proceedings; Akenhead J again referred to the severability of adjudicators’ decisions on enforcement; and incorrectly reserving its rights tripped up the responding party.

And finally (to quote Sir Trevor McDonald)…

For all those who enjoy a wee dram at the end of a busy week, regulations protecting Scotch whisky have come into force.

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