Posts by Jonathan Cope

  • Would I lie to you?

    This week I’m looking at a case from the Chancery Division of all places, Instrument Product Development Ltd v WD Engineering Solutions Ltd. Why, I hear you ask? Well, it caught my eye because the judgment starts by talking about a noted 1981 study, Role of schemeta in memory for places (was it just me … Continue reading Would I lie to you?

  • My TCC birthday list

    I recently learned that the Technology and Construction Court (or, more precisely, the Official Referees’ Court as it was known until 1998) will soon celebrate its 150th birthday, having started life in 1873. No birthday would be complete without a birthday list of long-desired gifts but, as a public body staffed by public servants, there … Continue reading My TCC birthday list

  • Handy tips when giving expert evidence in adjudication

    A couple of months ago Matt and I were asked to speak to some experts about what adjudicators really want from them. Given that there haven’t been many reported adjudication enforcements lately, I thought this week would be a good opportunity to share some of my tips.

  • Fraud, glorious fraud?

    Once adjudication had found its feet in the early noughties, there was said to be only two ways for a responding party to avoid the consequences of an adjudicator’s decision. The first was to demonstrate that the adjudicator did not have the necessary jurisdiction, and the second was to demonstrate that they had made a … Continue reading Fraud, glorious fraud?

  • My 2019 wish list

    Firstly, and most importantly, a Happy New Year to you all! As regular readers to this blog will know, in our first piece each year Matt or I like to set out our construction law wish list for the coming 12 months. I don’t know whether it’s been caused by over indulging in turkey and … Continue reading My 2019 wish list

  • Oral construction contracts and issues in adjudication enforcement

    Two recent judgments illustrate the difficulties that oral contracts can cause in adjudication enforcement proceedings. The first was Jefford J’s judgment in Hart v Ideal and the second (although actually the first in time) was Fraser J’s judgment in Dacy v IDM (which had also been before Jefford J a couple of years earlier).

  • My 2017 wish list

    No doubt we’ve all now had enough of reading about the annus horribilis of 2016, so I’m not going to dwell on that. Rather I want to set out my 2017 construction law wish list.

  • Tripping up over complex bespoke payment terms

    I don’t know about you, but across a number of adjudications recently, I’ve been seeing ever increasingly complex payment terms (especially in bespoke sub-contracts). Clearly this can lead to problems, as was amply demonstrated in Bouygues (UK) Ltd v Febrey Structures Ltd. 

  • Can I arbitrate my dispute?

    Most of you reading this blog are likely to have read a domestic main contract or sub-contract in the past few days (if not the past few minutes) under which a dispute has arisen. Many of you will also be saying to yourselves, “of course I know whether I can arbitrate my dispute under that contract … Continue reading Can I arbitrate my dispute?

  • Claiming restitution in adjudication

    While the judgment in ISG Retail Ltd v Castletech Construction Ltd is not particularly long, it is interesting case because it concerns some juicy facts and arguments that we don’t often see in adjudication enforcement cases, such as an advance payment, allegations of a total failure of consideration and a claim for restitution.

  • Be aware of when you enter into a contract

    The importance of three little words that should not be underestimated. I am of course talking about “subject to contract” and how the failure to use them in Malcolm Charles Contracts Ltd v Crispin and another proved to be expensive for one party.

  • Melville Dundas revisited

    We have removed the content of this post as the judgment it referred to was heard in private and should not have appeared on BAILII.

  • London and Edinburgh disagree on the application of Article 1 of ECHR to adjudication

    My title may not be a very catchy one, but with Westminster and Holyrood currently disagreeing about everything (or so it seems), it certainly is a relevant one. I have talked before about English and Scottish judges taking different approaches to issues and the Court of Appeal’s judgment in Lindum Group v Fernie is another example.

  • Yuanda followed in the TCC

    We might have another 11 months until the Scottish referendum, but I’ll lay my cards on the table. I think partition of the UK would be a real shame so, if I had a vote (which I don’t), it would be “no”. While there are a variety of economic and political considerations, ultimately, it’s for … Continue reading Yuanda followed in the TCC

  • Party costs in adjudication

    I’ve blogged before about the advantages that adjudication and arbitration can sometimes offer over the court system. For example, last year I considered this topic after West Country Renovations v Mr and Mrs McDowell, where Akenhead J decided that claims for less than £250,000 should be commenced in county courts or other High Court centres … Continue reading Party costs in adjudication

  • Guide me O thou great redeemer

    What a brilliant hymn this is (and I’m not even Welsh…). Even if you haven’t stepped inside a church for some time, you can’t have missed its inclusion in the 2011 wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton and the opening ceremony for last year’s London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. We could all do with … Continue reading Guide me O thou great redeemer

  • Legal advice privilege limited to lawyers

    Last week, the Supreme Court handed down its judgment in R (Prudential plc and another). It may not have come as a surprise that the court held, by a majority of 5:2, to limit to members of the legal profession the right to claim legal advice privilege (LAP).

  • Experts under the spotlight again

    A few weeks ago, I wrote about the role of expert witnesses under the Dubai’s civil code. Matt has also discussed experts recently, looking at the difficulties an expert may face, depending on his client and the nature of the dispute. Given the importance of expert evidence in construction disputes and the sheer number of people … Continue reading Experts under the spotlight again

  • Educating the experts

    I was recently fortunate enough to be asked to speak at a dispute resolution conference in Dubai, which was jointly organised by Dubai Land Department and RICS. On one of the days, I took part in an expert witness workshop. It was fascinating to talk to people who act as experts in the local courts: Dubai … Continue reading Educating the experts

  • A guiding hand in adjudications…

    RICS has recently published the third edition of its guidance note, Surveyors acting as adjudicators in the construction industry. As is usual with RICS guidance concerning dispute resolution, I should declare an interest. I am chairman of the RICS Dispute Resolution Professional Group (DRPG) and the DRPG is responsible for standards concerning dispute resolution, including … Continue reading A guiding hand in adjudications…

  • Claims consultants beware

    I recently wrote about West Country Renovations v Mr & Mrs McDowell. While it wasn’t strictly necessary for the purposes of the case, Akenhead J produced a judgment providing guidance on the value and types of claims that the TCC in the High Court in London will deal with. Continuing with the theme of providing helpful guidance, earlier … Continue reading Claims consultants beware

  • RICS’ conflicts guidance

    Some of you may have seen that the RICS has published guidance on how to deal with conflicts, helpfully called Conflicts of interest. I should declare an interest at the outset (not a conflict though!). While I wasn’t an author, I am chairman of the RICS’ Dispute Resolution Professional Group (DRPG) and the DRPG is responsible for … Continue reading RICS’ conflicts guidance

  • A Christmas (adjudication) Carol

    Well, Christmas is almost upon us and the television is already full of adverts of what we can look forward to watching over the festive period. As well as another heart-stopping instalment of Downton Abbey, I’m rather hoping A Christmas Carol will be on (the Muppets version obviously). Rather like Ebenezer Scrooge in the Dickens classic, … Continue reading A Christmas (adjudication) Carol

  • The “simplified” Construction Act 1996 payment provisions (part 2)

    Last week I considered some of the issues that might arise from the prohibition on pay-when-certified provisions and the new payment and default payment notices. This week, in the second part of the Adjudication Society panel debate, I consider pay less notices and suspension.

  • Tolent 1 – 0 Yuanda

    My last post was all about the “great” section 108A debate (or the “not so great” section 108 debate as one of my fellow PLC bloggers put it!). I’m back again to talk about it, or at least the subject of Tolent clauses, which section 108A was intended to banish from our world of adjudication. … Continue reading Tolent 1 – 0 Yuanda

  • The “great” section 108A debate – part 1

    The Society of Construction Law has hosted various “great” debates over the years, most memorably the Great Delay Analysis Debate. A new title the SCL may wish to consider is the “great section 108A debate”, as I seem to hear about little else at the moment.

  • Meeting the adjudicator

    There have only been a couple of TCC cases reported since the new year, so I thought I’d use the lull to revisit the subject of meetings in adjudication, and specifically some of the questions that parties might ask about them.

  • Fiona Trust: unsettling times ahead?

    In his Building column in November 2007, Tony Bingham wrote about the House of Lords decision in the Fiona Trust case. You’ll remember it: it’s the one where the House of Lords decided that the words “disputes arising under a contract” in an arbitration agreement are wide enough to include disputes “in connection with” the contract.