REUTERS | Ognen Teofilovski

October 2009 digest: ’tis the month of Halloween

“The Witches’ Spell” from Macbeth, by William Shakespeare:

FIRST WITCH:

Round about the cauldron go; In the poison’d entrails throw:

Toad that under cold stone, Days and nights has thirty-one.

Sweltered venom, sleeping got, Boil thou first i’ the charmèd pot.

ALL:

Double, double, toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble.

October has been a busy month for PLC Construction, with notes published on global claims, the ICE suite of contracts and the NEC3 Professional Services Contract. We also published a schedule of amendments for the JCT Design and Build Contract, 2005 edition, Revision 2 2009.

Elsewhere, after Parliament’s summer recess, the LDEDC Bill 2008 continued its slow and drawn-out progress through the legislature, with its third reading in the House of Commons. Click here if you’d like to see how the Construction Act 1996 would look if the proposed amendments become law.

In the courts, judicial consideration was again focused on adjudication, with decisions from the TCC on:

  • Whether the adjudicator can draw adverse inferences from a party’s refusal to disclose documents.
  • Set off between adjudicators’ decisions and whether enforcement proceedings should be stayed.

The courts also considered issues relating to:

Technology dominates our lives these days and social networking sites are very popular. Following the use of sites such as Facebook by the courts in Australia and New Zealand, the High Court ordered service of an injunction using the social networking medium, Twitter. Not wanting to be left behind on the technology front, the TCC is one of the courts trialling e-Working (that is, filing documents with the court over the internet), and we reported on its progress so far.

Insolvency issues are, understandably, often at the fore of people’s minds during a recession. We published an Ask the Team that examined an employer’s right to deduct LADs after the contractor had gone into administration and Caroline Pope of Berwin Leighton Paisner wrote about what happens to plant when the contractor becomes insolvent.

Public procurement is never far from the headlines. October saw the first Express LIFT appointment; 15 firms added to the Academy framework; seven firms shortlisted for the prisons PFI; the Court of Appeal considering the application of public procurement rules to a Camden academy; and OGC guidance on public procurement rules and development agreements.

and finally…

Health and safety issues always attract attention. Somewhat controversially, the Conservative party has announced that it will allow construction companies to carry out their own health and safety audits, while draft guidelines on sentencing for corporate manslaughter have been published for consultation. There was some good news though.

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