Construction

Tough health & safety law could mean imprisonment

The sentences for breaches of health and safety law have become much tougher over recent years.  The courts have levied a number of six-figure fines against companies as well handing down some prison sentences.  Although most of these are...

Getting paid for non-written instructions

Many forms of contract state that contractors or subcontractors who receive instructions orally rather than in writing will not be paid for the work they do as a result.  Formal contracts often contain a procedure that says any oral instructions...

Claim settled...without even knowing!

Over the last few years a number of cases in which parties attempted to make claims have been defeated on the basis that they have been settled already.    In construction cases, the parties should be mindful of this when they are negotiating...

Time to reconsider liquidated damages

It is common practice within the construction industry for damages to be paid by a contractor who fails to complete work on time.  These are often called liquidated and assessed damages or delay damages and the clauses to which they relate are referred...

Adjudication can get you paid

As everyone is now well aware, following the correct valuation process for payments due under a construction contract is critical.  If you fail to follow the correct procedure then the paying party can often end up having to pay monies that it does not...

Health & safety prosecutions

In 2013/14 the Health & Safety Executive prosecuted 1,187 offences which led to 674 cases and 636 convictions.  Its conviction rate was 94% and the total fines imposed were £18 million; enforcing authorities also issued 13,790 Enforcement...

Legal Update: Beware - Bear Scotland

Many readers will have seen coverage recently around the calculation of holiday pay for workers and employees.  Eagle eyed readers may even have seen reference to the case of Bear Scotland.  What does all of this mean and how might it affect your...

Sell the new homes!

Once a developer starts building out a scheme, the most important step is to sell the new homes.  This is important not only for the developer but also the purchasers. Buying a new build or converted property “off plan” requires a swift...

Key changes to CDM regulations

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM2015) came into effect on 6 April 2015.  These make significant changes to the CDM Regulations and apply to all construction projects in Great Britain.  Transitional arrangements apply...

No pay? Walking off site?

Strange as it may seem, the fact that you have not been paid does not mean that you are automatically entitled to stop working.  If an unpaid party to a contract simply leaves site they could be facing serious consequences.  They will be in...

Are you aware of your roots?

It has generally been thought that landowners will not be liable for damage caused to neighbouring properties by the roots of their trees unless they are aware of the possibility that such damage is being caused and fail to act.  However, in the recent...

Who is contracting with whom?

Knowing who you are contracting with should be simple.  However, on many occasions the identity of contracting parties is far from clear.  In recent months there have been a number of cases highlighting the importance of this issue.  Although...

Who is the contracting party?

Often, it can be difficult to identify contracting parties.  For example, when negotiating with a developer that is a holding company but uses special purpose vehicles for each individual development.  Alternatively, there may be different...

Collateral warranties might be construction contracts

In the recent case of Parkwood Leisure Ltd v Laing O’Rourke Wales and West Ltd, the High Court decided that a collateral warranty could be a construction contract.  Collateral warranties are used so that third parties (such as funders, tenants or...

The continuing trend to extend

The dilemma faced by many homeowners - whether to move or improve - is not a new one.  In a climate of high property prices, a scarcity of willing lenders and the high costs of moving, improving your current home has got to be the better...

Disputes with building contractors

In a slow property market, many choose to extend rather than move, but homeowners seldom know what should be in a contract and usually get a simple quote from their builder – a process that often leads to disputes. It is not essential to use a...

Extensions of Time, Loss and Expense and Global Claims

The recently decided case of Walter Lilly & Company Limited v Giles Patrick Cyril MacKay has clarified a number of issues relating to extensions of time, loss and expense, and global claims.  Some of these clarifications were just a restatement of...

Project managers and letters of intent

A project manager has recently been found liable for their employer’s losses caused by not ensuring that a contract was completed for a construction project.  This was decided in the case    of Ampleforth Abbey Trust v Turner &...

What Do You Pay for Work After the Contract Ends?

It is very common, especially with building contracts, for work to be needed to be done by contractors after the expiry of the original contract. A case came to court in which a company that had obtained work under tender for Brunel University continued...

Arbitration - is it a good choice?

Construction contract disputes can be resolved in many different ways, including negotiation, litigation, adjudication, mediation and various forms of other Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). But the major form of dispute resolution missing from this list...

Avoid the pitfalls of health and safety breaches

Since 1 April 2008 the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been the single regulatory body for promoting health and safety at work. The main piece of legislation that sets out a Company’s duties is the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, under...

Changes to Construction Contracts

As readers of our construction newsletter will be aware, there are substantial changes on the horizon for the way in which construction contracts operate. The Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009 was passed on 12 November 2009....

Public Procurement - Tell Us What You Think!

Many small and medium sized businesses say they find it hard to win or increase their share of work from the public sector in the present economic climate. At a recent Essex County Council public workshop to look at this issue, delegates from a range of...

Public Procurement

The new Public Contracts (Amendment) Regulations 2009 came into force on 20 December 2009. They introduce important new remedies for breach of the EU procurement rules including the power for the courts to declare contracts awarded in contravention of the...

The New Construction Act

At the end of last year the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009 was passed. This brought in changes to the way in which construction contracts will operate in the future. Many of the potential changes discussed in our previous...

Illegal Working Legislation - The Consequences

Over the last few months there have been many reports of businesses, both locally and nationally, being raided by officers of the UK Border Agency (UKBA). The aim of raids is to establish whether the employer is employing any workers illegally, in other...

New Flood Management Guidelines

Following the increase in severe flooding over the past decade, the Government has published new draft guidelines for surface water management plans. Surface water flooding occurs when drainage systems are overloaded, and is a particular problem in urban...

Get Paid Quick - Construction

In a previous newsletter we set out the usual ways of resolving construction disputes. Most disputes ultimately are about money, and usually for contractors and subcontractors it is about getting paid for work done. In the present economic crisis, many...