REUTERS | Jitendra Prakash

“What a year for a new year”

Will the dawn of the new year bring any changes to the construction industry, or will it be more of the same?

I believe that during the early part of 2009 we will see a continued squeeze on cash flow, with the competition for new work becoming more intense. As a result, I anticipate there will be an ever-increasing number of disputes, particularly in relation to speculative developments.

Looking further forward, if the proposed changes to the Construction Act 1996 finally make it on to the statute books, I anticipate even more adjudications as a result of dropping the “in writingrule, and an increase in the number of disputes about the terms of the contract.

Some other things (in no particular order) that I would like to see in 2009:

  • The abolition of 4 hole dividers. Really, do I need to say more?
  • The increased use of the CPR Part 8 procedure in respect of jurisdictional challenges before or during an adjudication. This could reduce the number of cases that end up before TCC judges for enforcement.
  • A swift implementation of the changes to the Construction Act 1996. The industry has already waited far too long.
  • Stabilisation of the property market. Surely everyone does.
  • An increase in the use of adjudication internationally. Parlez vous francais anyone?
  • A pupillage system for adjudicators (to address the fact that the process is now far more complex than was envisaged 10 years ago).
  • Fewer ANBs.
  • To get paid, either within a reasonable time of issuing a decision or (in some instances) at all.
  • The 2012 Olympic building programme to proceed on time and within budget.

and finally…

  • West Ham to avoid relegation.

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