- January 25, 2018
Learning from Carillion: under-bidding in the age of austerity
With the recent collapse of the last pillars holding Carillion’s crumbling edifice upright, the usual cries of “how did this happen” have started to echo across the national press. One suggestion is that Carillion may have been guilty of under-pricing jobs to win work and fill its pipeline. Having had no real dealings with Carillion … Continue reading Learning from Carillion: under-bidding in the age of austerity →
- July 19, 2017
Glen Water and the unintended notice that nobody noticed
To be is to be perceived. The 18th century philosopher George Berkeley found himself pondering whether a tree still exists if there is no-one to perceive it. In the recent case of Glen Water v Northern Ireland Water a similar question came up regarding notices. Can a letter be a notice if neither party perceived … Continue reading Glen Water and the unintended notice that nobody noticed →
- August 24, 2016
The continuing case for wetware solutions in the provision of legal services: vampires and the experienced contractor
I have recently been reading the dire predictions of legal futurologist, Richard Susskind, once more claiming that lawyers’ days are numbered and that pretty soon computers will take over the world. For my sins, some of my youth was spent gently snoozing through lectures on inference engines, fuzzy logic, and learning computer systems. One thing … Continue reading The continuing case for wetware solutions in the provision of legal services: vampires and the experienced contractor →
- August 11, 2015
Ambiguity, mistake and Rainy Sky over Oxwich Bay
The lines between mistake, implied terms and ambiguity are blurred in Arnold v Britton. In some ways adjudicators have it easy. Their decisions are difficult to challenge, private and are unlikely to be of any significance outside the scope of the project in question. This allows them a certain freedom to give a decision that, … Continue reading Ambiguity, mistake and Rainy Sky over Oxwich Bay →
- October 8, 2014
Penalties: a genuine re-estimate of loss?
As a solicitor in private practice, I am routinely subjected to training on anti-money laundering rules. These courses place you in hypothetical scenarios and offer you multiple choice questions, such as should you (a) run screaming to the Police and national press; (b) ignore your suspicions and pocket the fees; or (c) have a quiet … Continue reading Penalties: a genuine re-estimate of loss? →
- October 23, 2013
Third party rights or collateral warranties? The world after Parkwood
The real estate industry can be slow to react to innovation. The slow uptake of third party rights in lieu of collateral warranties is a classic example of this: the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 (Third Party Rights Act 1999) is 14 years old, yet there are still parts of the industry that do … Continue reading Third party rights or collateral warranties? The world after Parkwood →
- March 13, 2013
Recovering costs under late payment legislation
Have you ever been involved in negotiating a contract term that seemed eminently sensible, only to find that its application was rather more complex than initially supposed? Sometimes I feel that Parliamentary draftsmen must feel the same way, trying to draft legislation of general application against a backdrop of a huge existing body of law … Continue reading Recovering costs under late payment legislation →
- April 24, 2012
The dangers of not substantiating claims
I was looking back over the files from an old adjudication where I had represented the responding party. This case was interesting because it was one of those claims where the referring party’s lack of preparation reversed the usual (and true) maxim that adjudication favours the referring party.
- September 13, 2011
Are contractors required to give pay less notices under the LDEDC Act 2009 and the revised Scheme?
There I was, quietly drafting some LDEDC Act 2009-compliant payment terms when, hitting a patch of writer’s block, I turned to my trusty PLC mark-up of the revised English Scheme. All of a sudden it dawned on me that either I had fundamentally mis-read the LDEDC Act 2009 or the revised English Scheme was not Act-compliant.
- July 13, 2011
Counterclaims and frolicking: does Urang change anything?
The recent case of Urang Commercial Ltd v Century Investments and another, has caused concern that it is difficult to reconcile with the existing authorities, particularly those where the adjudicator has taken too narrow a view of his jurisdiction. In my view there is no conflict with this line of authority. The case instead shows that, … Continue reading Counterclaims and frolicking: does Urang change anything? →