REUTERS | Neil Hall

June 2012 digest: a diamond jubilee and the jet stream

Alfred, Lord Tennyson, To the Queen:

“Her court was pure; her life serene; God gave her peace; her land reposed;

A thousand claims to reverance closed, in her as Mother, Wife and Queen.”

As a nation, we are obsessed with the weather. Regular readers of this digest will know that it features prominently here too. So it is no surprise that June’s digest starts with comments about the never-ending wind and rain, which didn’t appear to dampen spirits too much over the double bank holiday and the Queen’s diamond jubilee celebrations, even if it did prevent much play during the third test at Egdbaston and has already affected play at Wimbledon. We can only hope that the jet stream meanders north, to its more usual summer position, in time for the start of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The opening ceremony for London 2012 is less than a month away and Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP is writing a seven-part “heptathlon” series, analysing the commercial impact of the Games from a variety of perspectives. So far they have looked at some of the employment issues. Future topics include liquidated damages clauses and the recovery of exceptional losses.

It’s not often that third party rights make the news, but:

  • In Fortress v Blue Skye, the court had to grapple with the relationship between the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 and the Arbitration Act 1996.
  • In Kazeminy v Siddiqi, the issue was whether a settlement agreement also bound a third party (it didn’t).

Settlement was also under the spotlight in Point West v Mivan, where the court was asked to consider the scope of the settlement and whether all patent defects had been included (they had).

In adjudication enforcement, the TCC has refused to grant declarations concerning the meaning of a contractual provision during an adjudication. We have comment on WW Gear v McGee and also on Whyte and Mackay v Blyth & Blythe, where the Court of Session considered procedural issues, allowing one party to serve a counterclaim in adjudication enforcement proceedings. We also told you about starting and stopping an adjudication.

Letters of intent are common in the construction industry, as is the use of arbitration. Both issues came together before the TCC in Merit v Balfour Beatty. Other issues in the news included extensions of time, the Bribery Act 2010, pension fund investment in UK infrastructure, the HSE’s consultation on ACoPs and adjudication after insolvency. We also told you about the latest RICS guidance on Japanese knotweed and whether it is an offence to allow it to grow (it is). If you are interested in Part B services in public procurement, we told you about some of the risks if you don’t competitively tender the contract and also your obligations to advertise the contract.

Finally, during June we published quick guides to construction bonds and net contribution clauses, and a set of construction enquiries before contract.

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