The Supreme Court sanctions the use of adjudication in the insolvency context: Bresco Electrical Services Ltd v Michael J Lonsdale (Electrical) Ltd [2020] UKSC 25 – 3 Hare Court

‘The Supreme Court has given judgment in what is being hailed as a landmark case in the construction and insolvency spheres. The decision has not only eliminated any doubt that there is jurisdiction for an insolvent company to adjudicate against a respondent with a potential cross-claim, but it has also endorsed the use of adjudication as a helpful tool for liquidators.’

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3 Hare Court, 22nd June 2020

Source: www.3harecourt.com

Bresco Electrical Services Ltd (in liquidation) v Michael J Lonsdale (Electrical) Ltd [2020] USC 25, or ‘‘kicking the door wide open’’ – 3PB

‘Lord Justice Coulson’s judgment included the proposition that an insolvent Company could only adjudicate a dispute with a creditor in circumstances of mutual debts in “exceptional circumstances”. Subsequent caselaw has explored the extent of these “exceptional circumstances”.’

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3PB, 18th June 2020

Source: www.3pb.co.uk

Planning and re-starting the housing market – 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square

Posted June 4th, 2020 in construction industry, coronavirus, housing, news, planning by sally

‘Simon Randle, Vivienne Sedgley and Katharine Elliot analyse government measures to restart the housing market and how they impact on the planning system.’

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4-5 Gray's Inn Square, 29th May 2020

Source: www.4-5.co.uk

TCC decides adjudicator did not stray off course – Practical Law Construction Blog

‘This was a case about the enforcement of an adjudicator’s decision (as so many are) and involved many of the usual arguments (as so many do), such as did the adjudicator have jurisdiction to reach the decision and was there a breach of the rules of natural justice? Unusually, the judge also had to consider an application to serve proceedings out of the jurisdiction, something I’m not really familiar with but, luckily, Helena White has already talked about that in her blog. That means I don’t need to mention whether enforcement proceedings should have been started in England or Northern Ireland, and leaves me to look at the jurisdiction and natural justice issues in more detail.’

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Practical Law Construction Blog, 13th May 2020

Source: constructionblog.practicallaw.com

Planning and Re-starting the Housing Market – 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square

Posted May 21st, 2020 in construction industry, coronavirus, housing, news, planning by sally

‘Late on 12 May 2020, the Housing Secretary published a plan to re-start the housing market: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/housing-secretary-sets-out-plan-to-restart-housing-market. The measures are intended to support the economy and make progress in an industry where much been paused during the lockdown.’

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4-5 Gray's Inn Square, 13th May 2020

Source: www.4-5.co.uk

“What next for the Construction Act?” – Rupert Choat for Building Magazine – Atkin Chambers

‘The latest consultation on the Construction Act reached its second stage last month, with the government’s long overdue publication of responses to its consultation on the legislation. When the 1996 act was amended in 2011, the government proposed reviewing it after three years. However, it was six years before consultation with the industry even began. A summary of the responses to that consultation was due two years ago but, presumably owing to Brexit, was not published until this February.’

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Atkin Chambers, 12th May 2020

Source: www.atkinchambers.com

COVID-19: “Legal view: how to implement site operating procedures” – Atkin Chambers

Posted May 12th, 2020 in construction industry, coronavirus, health & safety, news by sally

‘“There have been as many plagues as wars in history, yet always plagues and wars take people equally by surprise” – these words from Albert Camus’ The Plague sum up how the COVID-19 pandemic has taken the world by storm. The UK’s construction industry is facing the greatest challenge since Brexit, but there is little specific guidance from Westminster on the way forward. Whereas all non-essential sites in Scotland have been ordered to close, sites across the rest of the country have been left in the unenviable position of having to decide whether they should remain open.’

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Atkin Chambers, 6th May 2020

Source: www.atkinchambers.com

Meadowside exceptions applied in Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering Limited, Balfour Beatty Group Limited v Astec Projects Limited (In Liquidation) [2020] EWHC 796 (TCC) – Hardwicke Chambers

Posted May 12th, 2020 in chambers articles, construction industry, dispute resolution, news by sally

‘Balfour Beatty brought an application seeking the injunction of three adjudications that was sought by Astec. Astec engaged in three sub-contracts with Balfour Beatty, the main contractor, for various aspects of work to and around Blackfriars Station. The works began in 2010, but in April 2014 Astec went into administration and then liquidation in October 2014. Nothing happened after liquidation, until Astec sent a claim letter on 24th December 2019 and a first notice of adjudication on 24th January 2020.’

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Hardwicke Chambers, 4th May 2020

Source: hardwicke.co.uk

Coronavirus, adjudication and injunctions – Practical Law Construction Blog

Posted April 17th, 2020 in building law, construction industry, coronavirus, injunctions, news by sally

‘Coronavirus, or COVID-19, is impacting all parts of our lives. Currently, the focus in the construction industry is rightly on the safety of workers still attending sites. No doubt, the future will see litigation on whether the coronavirus gives rise to extensions of time, force majeure, frustration or other legal rights or remedies.’

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Practical Law Construction Blog, 15th April 2020

Source: constructionblog.practicallaw.com

Contracting with Coronavirus: the NEC contract terms – 39 Essex Chambers

‘This article, the second in a series of three articles, considers the effect of Coronavirus on the contract regimes applicable to NEC forms of contract. Other articles cover JCT terms, and the possible impact of the common law principle of frustration.’

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39 Essex Chambers, 27th March 2020

Source: www.39essex.com

Contracting with Coronavirus: JCT contract terms – 39 Essex Chambers

‘This article, the first in a series of three articles, considers the effect of Coronavirus on the contract terms applicable to the JCT form of contract. Other articles cover NEC terms, and the possible impact of the common law principle of frustration.’

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39 Essex Chambers, 26th March 2020

Source: www.39essex.com

C Spencer Limited v M W High Tech Projects UK Limited [2020] EWCA Civ 331 – The relationship between hybrid contracts and valid payment notices – Hardwicke Chambers

‘The Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 created hybrid contracts, and with that, complications as to the relationship between these contracts and the Act. In the significant case of C Spencer Limited v M W High Tech Projects UK Limited [2020] EWCA Civ 331, Lord Coulson clarifies whether a valid payment notice ought to separately identify the sum due in respect of construction operations.’

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Hardwicke Chambers, 26th March 2020

Source: hardwicke.co.uk

The relevance of pre-contract information – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted March 31st, 2020 in asbestos, building law, construction industry, contracts, news by sally

‘In PBS Energo v Bester Generacion [2020] EWHC 223 (TCC), the Technology and Construction Court concluded that asbestos contamination, encountered on a biomass energy plant construction project, had been foreseeable in light of the pre-contract information provided to the subcontractor. The effect of this was that the subcontractor had not been entitled to an extension of time.’

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Law Society's Gazette, 30th March 2020

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Grenfell Inquiry: Aesthetics v safety v money – BBC News

‘Grenfell was the worst residential fire in UK peacetime history, with 72 people losing their lives. We now know what happened – the report on phase one of the public inquiry has been published – but the next phase is spending months investigating why it happened, and considering who might be to blame.’

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BBC News, 13th March 2020

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Yuanda v Multiplex – “ascertaining” damages pre-adjudication under ABI bond – Practical Law Construction Blog

Posted March 5th, 2020 in construction industry, contracts, damages, guarantees, news by tracey

‘The TCC has just handed down judgment in Yuanda (UK) Company Ltd v Multiplex Construction Europe Ltd and another, which will be of interest to the construction industry as it deals with how ABI-type performance bonds operate.’

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Practical Law Construction Blog, 4th March 2020

Source: constructionblog.practicallaw.com

PBS Energo AS v Bester Generacion UK Ltd & Anor [2020] EWHC 223 (TCC) – Atkin Chambers

Posted February 21st, 2020 in building law, chambers articles, construction industry, contracts, news by sally

‘On 7 February 2020 Mrs Justice Cockerill DBE handed down judgment in PBS Energo AS v Bester Generacion UK Ltd & Anor [2020] EWHC 223 (TCC). Steven Walker QC and Tom Owen appeared for Bester instructed by Rebecca Williams of Watson Farley Williams.’

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Atkin Chambers, 7th February 2020

Source: www.atkinchambers.com

Grenfell Tower inquiry backs protection for refurbishment firms giving evidence – BBC News

‘The chairman of the Grenfell Tower inquiry has backed a request from firms that refurbished the building that evidence they give should not be used against them in criminal prosecutions.’

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BBC News, 7th February 2020

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Government to set up new regulator for oversight of high-risk buildings – Local Government Lawyer

‘The Government has unveiled plans for a new regulator to oversee the design, construction and occupation of high-risk buildings.’

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Local Government Lawyer, January 2020

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

New building safety regulator for England to be set up immediately – OUT-LAW.com

Posted January 23rd, 2020 in building law, construction industry, fire, health & safety, news by tracey

‘Planned measures to improve high-rise residential building and fire safety in England will be speeded up, the UK government has announced.’

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OUT-LAW.com, 22nd February 2020

Source: www.pinsentmasons.com

What evidence does the adjudicator find useful when considering delay? – Hardwicke Chambers

Posted January 21st, 2020 in causation, construction industry, delay, news by sally

‘White Constructions, a developer, engaged a sewer designer (“IWS”) and water servicing coordinator (“SWC”) to design a sewerage solution that complied with New South Wales regulations. The initial design was rejected by the relevant authorities, but a second design was later submitted and accepted. Subsequently, White Constructions brought proceedings against IWS and SWC for failing to produce a sewer design acceptable to the relevant authority within a reasonable time period, submitting that this failure caused delay to the completion of the project and thereby led to significant additional costs. At trial, the parties were each permitted to engage their own experts to assess the alleged delay. White Construction’s expert used an ‘as planned versus as-built windows analysis’, stipulating that there had been a serious delay of 240 days. The Defendants’ expert used a ‘collapsed as-built (or “but-for”) analysis’, demonstrating that there had been, at most, a 19-day delay. However, neither evidences were used by the Court because the they seen as not being appropriate for the case. Instead, the Court appointed a third expert whose evidence was preferred. The Court found that no breach had been established and so damages were not awarded.’

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Hardwicke Chambers, 16th January 2020

Source: hardwicke.co.uk