Latest News

 When is a Collateral Warranty not a Construction Contract? Collateral warranties are a fact of life in the construction industry. A warranty provides a contractual connection between two parties, primarily to allow a beneficiary of the warranty to sue in the event of a problem. Thus, employers will usually insist on being provided with Collateral Warranties from key sub-contractors on a project, particularly if those key sub-contractors have been involved in providing design.  
 No win no fee adjudication: Is the current cost of adjudication too high? There is no doubt about it, adjudication is simply no longer the quick D.I.Y. process that Parliament intended it would be when the original Act was introduced in May 1998. 23 years of legal and practice developments have undoubtedly morphed the process into one which is now, in our view, more like fast-track arbitration. There is also no doubt that these developments have taken their toll and frightened off many a potential claimant from pursuing a resolution of a dispute through the adjudication process.  
 Contractual risk due to Covid-19: Managing your entitlement under NEC4 Our industry has been dealing with the impact of Covid-19 for well over 12 months now. Throughout this period, and notwithstanding the many challenges faced, the UK construction industry has been like a beacon of light in its response to the pandemic. Now that the dust has begun to settle, I feel now is the ideal time to reflect on the lessons learnt over the past 12 months and to review the contractual risk of Covid-19 going forward.  
 Insolvent Claimants and the right to adjudicate in Construction Contracts In September 2010 the Society of Construction Law published a paper called Using Adjudication to Resolve Disputes when one of the Parties is Insolvent (D112). Those of you with long memories may recall that I was the author of that paper. I wrote the paper out of academic interest and because at the time my firm was acting for a significant number of Administrators and Liquidators of claimant companies in disputes where Respondents were effectively taking advantage of our client’s insolvent status to deny our clients the right to payment of sums properly due to them.  
 Refuse to mediate? Don’t be surprised by the consequences! Unless you have been living in a distant galaxy and have only just arrived on planet Earth you will know that there is a long history of reported cases in which parties, who have refused to engage in mediation without a very good reason indeed, have been routinely punished by the courts when it comes to dealing with costs. To be clear, having a very strong belief in the merits of your case is simply not a good enough reason to refuse to mediate.  
 The Coronavirus and the time for completion of construction contracts As I sit and write this article the UK remains in the grip of a virus that has brought the majority of construction projects to a standstill. Up and down the land Employers, Contractors, Sub-Contractors and Suppliers are reaching into their filing cabinets to search for the contracts they entered into in order to see where they stand. Our telephones have been busy all week with calls from anxious clients.