Thomas Hardy, The Darkling Thrush:
“I leant upon a coppice gate
When Frost was spectre-grey,
And Winter’s dregs made desolate
The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
Had sought their household fires.”
January is a month for looking ahead to the coming year. Given the recent cold snap, it’s also a month to return to the fireside after a wet, wild and mild December (see the post on its impact from Christopher Skone James). While predicting the future can be a fool’s errand, suitably caveated, here’s a final reminder of what we thought would be on the agenda for 2016, along with a welcome to 2016 from us and Matt Molloy.
If your new year’s resolution is to build a new place to live, why not keep abreast of the JCT and RIBA residential adjudication schemes? (Just in case…) For more challenging projects, the CIOB has updated its time and cost management approach. Fireside reading, perhaps?
Our blogging contributors continued to shine a light on noteworthy developments, fighting off the “weakening eye of day”. They included Carolina Carlstedt on asbestos exclusion clauses, Michael Sergeant on written instructions, Jonathan Cope on uncertainty of contract terms in adjudication, Matt Molloy on uncertainty in an adjudication judgment on contract terms and Caroline Pope on what users think of the construction pre-action protocol. In addition, we welcomed our colleagues in Practical Law Arbitration to the blogging fold.
Matters related to adjudication were perhaps not all “spectre grey” this month. The Adjudication Society and CIArb revised their adjudicator’s jurisdiction guidance, which Jonathan Cope blogged about. The Court of Appeal confirmed the TCC’s judgment that a second adjudication did not concern the same dispute, and we have another judgment on the meaning of construction operations. Finally, the TCC dealt with a detailed challenge to an adjudicator’s decision, enforcing a decision worth in excess of £10 million.
The High Court “scored the sky” as it:
- Ordered that building works be carried out under a lease and ancillary agreements.
- Allowed a party to terminate a contract, even though it had not initially raised the grounds it subsequently terminated on.
- Refused permission for a party to put forward expert evidence using a novel methodology.
- Warned of the possible consequences of carrying out detailed professional work for friends.
In Scotland, a contractor obtained an order requiring a professional consultant to deliver a collateral warranty while in the criminal courts, National Grid Gas faced a £1 million health and safety fine.
Public procurement news included the TCC refusing to lift suspension of a contract award, the European Commission’s adoption of a single procurement document, machine translation helping “all mankind” (or at least SMEs) and our regular public procurement case digest.
And finally, leaning at last on the “coppice gate” of this post, we have updated and improved our content on FIDIC contracts, an area where we plan to continue to enhance our content. We also incorporated useful information from Ask answers into our materials on enforcing the Building Regulations.