Groundwork laid for £30Bn construction framwework

Government will shortly launch a major construction framework worth £30Bn to allow public bodies to secure contractors for the construction, refurbishment and demolition of built assets.

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Campaign cracks down on construction cartels

The Competition and Markets Authority has launched a new campaign urging people to come forward with information that will help it hunt out illegal cartels, including those in the construction industry.

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Contractors guilty of poor vehicle management

A housebuilder and a civil engineering firm have been ordered to pay almost £1M between them over the death of scaffolder Henry Jones in 2013, following a hearing at Liverpool Crown Court.

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Tipper truck incident results in £500,000 fine

Principal contractor MV Kelly has been fined £500,000 after a ground worker on a development site at Burntwood Business Park in Staffordshire was struck by a tipper truck in October 2015.

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Concern over stalled PPP plan for NHS

HM Treasury has denied claims that it is holding up the roll out of a new £5Bn public-private partnership model for NHS estate infrastructure planning and investment, known as Project Phoenix.

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Call for better decision making on infrastructure

Government’s current process for making decisions on large infrastructure projects is failing to keep up with the demands of a modern economy, a report from an influential think tank has said.

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BESA and ECA add voices to retentions campaign

An action plan to end cash retentions in the construction industry has been put to the Government by the Building Engineering Services Association and the Electrical Contractors' Association.

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Steel firm penalised after crane death

Failure to put in place essential health and safety measures has landed Tata Steel with a fine of £1.4M following the death of a maintenance electrician who was crushed by a crane in April 2010.

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More insolvencies likely to follow Carillion

Carillion’s liquidation is symptomatic of the financial difficulties faced by many construction companies and may trigger further collapses, according to accountancy firm Moore Stephens.

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Construction Law: January/February 2018

Editor’s comment
Carillion carnage masks PFI malaise

Editor Nick Barrett says the collapse of Carillion may have taken attention away from a highly critical report on the Private Finance Initiative from the National Audit Office that could have even greater long-term implications for construction procurement.

News
Our regular news round up focusses on the launch of updated versions of FIDIC’s ‘Rainbow Suite’ of contracts; an attack on the government’s Construction Supply Chain Payment Charter; and the launch of investigations into the collapse of Carillion.

Legal terms explained
Ibaad Hakim
and Michael Mendelblat of Herbert Smith Freehills LLP explain what is meant by knock-for-knock indemnities.

Guest editor
Rise in corruption and bribery prosecutions
Guest editor Laura Lintott of Beale & Company Solicitors LLP discusses the increasing number of prosecutions related to bribery and corruption. The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is becoming increasingly focussed on such cases, and construction companies should take great care to comply with anti-corruption legislation, she warns.

Legislation state of play table
Our regular round up of the progress of legislation affecting construction as it passes through the UK and EC legislative systems comes from Clyde & Co. Ana Bonnington comments on the Autumn 2017 Budget.

Reports from the courts
In our latest review of the court decisions of most interest to construction Andrew Croft and Simii Sivapalan of Beale & Company Solicitors LLP look at one that highlights the danger of conflicting and complicated drafting in contracts; and another that confirms the need to serve a pay less notice under the HGCRA applies to final or termination accounts as well as to interim payments.

Contracts monitor
An essential read for tendering
Contracts monitor Michael Phipps, Principal of Thurston Consultants, continues his review of JCT’s Practice Note on Tendering. A glance at even a summary of its contents might prompt reconsideration of tendering procedures, he says.

CL guides
Guide to Brexit: Article 50 and withdrawal from the EU
Rachel Chaplin of DLA Piper looks at the potential impact of Brexit related changes in the latest in DLA Piper’s series of Construction Guides. Contractors look more at risk from a change in circumstances as a result of Brexit than employers, she warns.

Annual review
Construction Act changes loom in 2018
In this review of the main events of 2017 James Doe and Emma Kurtovich of Herbert Smith Freehills LLP focus on key developments in issues such as extensions of time and concurrent delay. Looking ahead, as well as litigation arising from the Grenfell Tower disaster, they expect a continued emphasis on increasing transparency and news of possible HGCRA 1996 changes.

Review of 2017 in Scotland
Shona Frame and Siân McNiff of CMS review the highlights in Scotland of 2017, an eventful year with developments that will be felt in 2018 and beyond. Key events included legislation that revolutionised third party rights.

Contracts
No absolute rights governing certificates
Jennifer Jones of Atkin Chambers examines the law surrounding conclusive evidence clauses, which often pass unnoticed – until it is too late. Make careful note of any obligatory time periods that might expire, she advises.

Insurance
Latent disease in employers’ liability claims
Insurance expert John D Wright of JD Risk Associates explains how latent disease is treated in employers’ liability policies. The basis on which policies is written is ‘cause arising’ which has created long-standing problems.

Adjudication
Serial adjudications – who bears the cost?
Vijay Bange of Trowers & Hamlins LLP predicts a growing number of challenges to adjudications following recent court decisions, especially where there is evidence of ‘adjudication shopping’ or adjudications being abandoned for no good reason.

Alternative dispute resolution
Adjudication enforcement decisions
In the latest article of our regular alternative dispute resolution series article Richard Kniveton of Clyde & Co examines the implications of two recent adjudication enforcement decisions.