F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby:
“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”
Summer has finally arrived and, after all the rain over the last couple of months, it is a welcome thing, not least because we have the double bank holiday just around the corner.
That weekend may be to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, but there was less to celebrate in the Queen’s Speech earlier this month. It marks the start of the new parliamentary session (and an end to the old one) and with it came bills on energy (which will affect the renewables and nuclear sectors) and water (which will reform the water industry). While on the subject of infrastructure, other announcements this month included new regulations on nuclear decommissioning and Royal Assent for the Water Industry Act 2012.
There may not have been much for the construction industry in the Queen’s Speech, but the courts have handed down a number of judgments that are likely to impact on it. For example, if you:
- Refer a dispute to adjudication before the final date for payment, in limited circumstances, a party may issue a withholding notice and set off against the adjudicator’s decision.
- Raise a general challenge to an adjudicator’s jurisdiction, you must maintain that challenge throughout the adjudication.
- Are a party to a party wall award, you only have 14 days from when it was posted to you to lodge an appeal. A number of practical implications arise from this.
- Are part of the costs management pilot in the TCC, beware the consequences of not complying with it. Here are a few key pointers.
- Are a parent company, consider the duty of care you may owe to employees of your subsidiaries.
- Enter into a side letter, consider whether you intend to create legal relations, or just have a non binding agreement to agree.
- Intend to enter into a contract, make sure you agree the price, or you may be stuck with a letter of intent.
- Suffer fire damage, consider how you discharge the burden of proof as to how the damage was caused.
Other issues that we told you about during May include RICS’ new rules of measurement, duress and its impact on a contract’s validity, what to do about collateral warranties if you change building contractor, retention and section 111 of the Construction Act 1996, adjudication with only one party, revised CDM regulations (in 2014), Cabinet Office guidance on project bank accounts, legal issues affecting BIM and best and reasonable endeavours clauses.
And finally, we may all be familiar with quotes from 007, such as “Good morning, my name is Bond… James Bond”, but to help you with other forms of bond, we have published an on demand bid bond, an on demand performance bond and an on demand advance payment bond.