- December 20, 2017
Christmas quiz 2017
He wears red and white for important occasions and expects us all to behave. Yes, this year’s Christmas quiz is a tribute to Coulson J, soon to leave the TCC for the Court of Appeal. Not only did Coulson J deliver some of this year’s most important judgments, he did so with his customary style. … Continue reading Christmas quiz 2017 →
- October 27, 2017
The value of obiter in the TCC
Melissa Moriarty’s recent blog post covered the complex subject of delay. It also touched on something seemingly simple: the difference between the ratio and obiter elements of a judgment. So how is it that lawyers manage to disagree about this elementary distinction and why does it matter?
- April 26, 2017
What to expect from NEC4
The NEC4 suite of contracts is being published in June 2017 and is already available to pre-order. That doesn’t leave much time for practitioners to prepare, so what do we know about this new raft of contracts?
- December 21, 2016
Christmas quiz 2016
Our festive quiz is back again, so take some time off from that ambush adjudication and have some fun.
- January 21, 2014
Patent defect or latent defect: does it matter?
Academics and judges have spent many hours discussing and identifying the difference between a latent defect and a patent defect in a construction project. But does the distinction matter? This post considers a defect that appears just after the contractual defects liability period has expired and argues that the distinction does matter, but perhaps not … Continue reading Patent defect or latent defect: does it matter? →
- April 17, 2012
Do you know who is in charge of the UK construction industry?
According to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the UK construction industry consists of over 300,000 firms employing over two million people and it contributed 8.3% of the nation’s GVA (Gross Value Added) in 2008. Given its undoubted importance, who is in charge of this important part of our economy? Do we even … Continue reading Do you know who is in charge of the UK construction industry? →
- September 21, 2010
CBI joins debate on government spending
The government spending review is only a month away and everyone is fighting to avoid cuts in their sector. This week, the CBI published its submissions to the government, but will they help the construction and engineering industries?
- July 28, 2010
Collateral warranties, a standstill agreement and a concurrent tort claim
One multi-party (and multi-action) Technology and Construction Court (TCC) claim involving Linklaters, Sir Robert McAlpine and others is under scrutiny by commentators at the moment. While it is important to remember that the latest installment, like the previous one, is still at the pre-trial (interlocutory) stage, what can we learn from How Engineering v Southern Insulation?
- June 14, 2010
Low carbon domestic refurbishment
We all know that we need to improve energy use in new houses and buildings, so why should we care about existing housing stock? On 10 June, the Construction Products Association (CPA) published An Introduction to Low Carbon Domestic Refurbishment, a guide that answers that question and might even provide some inspiration for the wider construction industry.
- May 17, 2010
Construction industry reaction to coalition government
The construction industry has been hit hard by the current recession. Beyond headlines like “Heathrow third runway scrapped”, the construction industry faces further uncertainty as it waits to see what the new coalition government’s public sector spending cuts really mean for key areas, such as housebuilding, and for major projects, such as Crossrail.
- April 28, 2010
Construction law and employment law collide: stopping work leads to redundancy
A construction or engineering contract, in particular a sub-contract, often allows the contractor to order the sub-contractor to stop work. This often appears as a contractual right to order the sub-contractor to suspend work immediately (or to suspend after a short notice period) following which, if work does not resume within six or twelve months, the … Continue reading Construction law and employment law collide: stopping work leads to redundancy →
- March 5, 2010
Are the anti-blacklisting Regulations a Government whitewash?
The Government’s anti-blacklisting Regulations came into force on 2 March, but will they stop blacklisting? The problem In March 2009, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) uncovered a database containing the details of 3,213 construction workers, which was used by over 40 construction companies to vet individuals for employment. The database effectively acted as a blacklist … Continue reading Are the anti-blacklisting Regulations a Government whitewash? →
- January 12, 2010
Bid rigging investigation moves “down under”
In 2009, the construction press was full of stories about cover pricing and bid-rigging in the construction industry. This was because of the Office of Fair Trading’s (OFT) investigation (which had started in 2004), and which resulted in fines of £129.5 million being imposed on 103 construction companies in September 2009.
- October 27, 2009
Conservative Party plans to reduce health and safety red tape
The Conservative Party plans to allow medium to large construction businesses to procure independent health and safety audits. If a firm passed an audit, it could bar the HSE from entering the audited site. Is this genius or folly?
- October 12, 2009
CIOB plans guidance on time management
Of the three key factors that drive a project (cost, quality and time), time management is by far the least developed and understood. This was highlighted by the Chartered Institute of Building’s (CIOB) report, Managing the risk of delayed completion in the 21st century. Having identified the problem, the CIOB is trying to solve it.
- September 29, 2009
UCATT publishes blacklisting report
The Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians (UCATT) has published its report on blacklisting in the construction industry, Ruined lives – blacklisting in the construction industry. Unsurprisingly, the report criticises the Government and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for their handling of the scandal. It also raises several concerns about the Government’s proposed blacklisting … Continue reading UCATT publishes blacklisting report →
- September 22, 2009
OFT fines 103 construction companies for bid-rigging
The long-awaited results of the OFT‘s investigation into bid-rigging in the construction industry have been published.
- July 21, 2009
UK Climate Projections 2009
On 14 July 2009, PLC Construction attended a conference entitled “What does climate change mean for construction?”, organised by the Construction Industry Research and Information Association (CIRIA) and sponsored by Defra. At the conference a representative from UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP) introduced UK Climate Projections 2009 (UKCP09), its latest climate predictions for the UK during the 21st … Continue reading UK Climate Projections 2009 →
- June 16, 2009
Who, or why, or which, or what, is ProCure21+?
ProCure21 is the procurement method for publicly funded NHS schemes (as opposed to schemes that use private funding, such as PFI and LIFT). As we highlighted in an update last week, ProCure21 will soon be replaced by ProCure21+. So what is Procure21+ and how will it differ from the existing regime?
- June 3, 2009
Do night shifts cause cancer?
In March 2009 the Danish government started paying compensation to women who had developed breast cancer after long spells working nights. This followed a decision by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an arm of the UN’s World Health Organisation, to classify night working as an activity that probably causes cancer. Should the construction and … Continue reading Do night shifts cause cancer? →
- May 20, 2009
Updated standard forms: what price for users?
In the last fortnight, two suites of standard forms of contract have been updated. Last week, the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) published an updated suite of professional appointments, the ACE Agreements 2009, and, on Monday, the Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT) began publishing its 2009 revisions, a process that will last into August. Anyone … Continue reading Updated standard forms: what price for users? →
- April 28, 2009
Titanic prison plan hits Straw iceberg
The Government is abandoning its plan to build three “titan” prisons, each of which would have housed 2,500 inmates. The decision, announced by Justice Minister Jack Straw, is a blow to the construction industry as the prisons were expected to cost around £1.2 billion, much of which would have been spent on construction. Instead, the Government … Continue reading Titanic prison plan hits Straw iceberg →
- April 14, 2009
Government proposes tower crane register
The Government has announced that it is planning a tower crane register. This follows the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) similar announcement earlier this year (see Building).
- March 17, 2009
Construction industry turns to public sector for survival
Construction companies are increasingly looking to the public sector, as private sector work dries up. Two pieces of evidence support this view:
- March 10, 2009
Construction blacklists – implications for the construction industry
The construction industry has been making the headlines again in the past week, but for the wrong reasons. An investigation by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has uncovered a database containing details on 3,213 construction workers, which was used by over 40 construction companies to vet individuals for employment.
- January 19, 2009
Would extending VAT payment dates help the construction and engineering industry?
UK law currently requires most companies to pay VAT within 30 days of the end of the VAT quarter. The Financial Times recently reported a proposal to extend the payment period for smaller companies, suggesting that it could rise to 90 days. The proposal is intended to improve cash flow for small companies, who are … Continue reading Would extending VAT payment dates help the construction and engineering industry? →
- December 3, 2008
The Queen’s Speech: Construction Contracts Bill included
Mixed emotions: love it or hate it, the new Construction Contracts Bill is coming our way.