REUTERS | Andrew Winning

November digest 2011: new standard documents and adjudication

Percy Bysshe Shelley, Hymn to intellectual beauty:

“There is a harmony in autumn, and a lustre in its sky, which through the summer is not heard or seen, as if it could not be, as if it had not been!”

As November ends, so does autumn. The days are getting shorter and the nights are lengthening as the winter solstice draws near. For some of us (in the south east at least), it hasn’t always felt like winter was on our doorstep, with one of the warmest and driest Novembers on record, and many leaves still clinging to the trees.

Last month we said it was time to turn our attention to new things. This has resulted in a number of new standard documents being published, including a letter of intent, two payment notices (for before and after the Construction Act 1996 changes), a withholding notice, a pay less notice and a party wall structure notice (as well as two letters in response). We have more party wall materials on the way, including a podcast in the New Year, to add to our existing notes. The note on CIS has also been updated.

Earlier in the year we noted that there was little adjudication news. That was not the case in November, with:

The courts were also busy grappling with a number of issues, including the assessment of damages (Porton v 3M) (twice), termination of a fixed term oral contract (BVM v Yeomans), execution of deeds (Bibby v Magson), contract interpretation (Rainy Sky) and Cherry v Boultbee and the double proof rule (Re Kaupthing). Even Noel Edmonds asked the TCC “deal or no deal”.

Other issues in the news included the review of the construction and engineering pre-action protocol, challenging arbitrators’ awards, CIMAR 2011, PFI, BIM, FIDIC’s sub-contract, selecting experts and party wall issues when buying a property.

Finally, the Bribery Act 2010 was in the news again, with the sentencing of the first person to be prosecuted under it (a magistrates’ court clerk).

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