Construction Law – April 2019

Editor’s comment
Construction remains cartel target
Editor Nick Barrett warns that competition authorities have clearly demonstrated that they regard construction as a prime target for their cartel and other anti competitive behaviour investigations.

News
Latest news this month includes a new consultation on the government’s approach to supporting private investment in infrastructure and a call for high value contracts to no longer be let to outsourcers, following the failure of Interserve.

Legal terms explained
Rebecca Scanlon of Herbert Smith Freehills LLP explains what the recently launched Disclosure Pilot Scheme aims to achieve.

Guest editor
Managing currency fluctuation risk
Currency movements can always have unwelcome impacts on construction projects, especially at times of uncertainty such as that induced by Brexit. Guest editor Chris Philpot of HFW warns that the trend towards larger single package contracts makes managing the risk ever more crucial.

Legislation state of play table
Our regular update on legislative proposals and guidance from government comes from Dentons UK and Middle East LLP. Mark Macaulay and Tracey Summerell provide a commentary on an updated Supplier Code of Conduct from the Government Commercial Function.

Reports from the courts
Our latest round up of court cases of most interest to construction from Andrew Croft and Ben Spannuth of Beale & Company Solicitors LLP focus on one that highlights the importance of considering contracts in their entirety; and another affecting adjudication and insolvency.

Contracts monitor
Copyright demands careful reading of text
Our contracts monitor Michael Phipps, Principal of Thurston Consultants, continues his analysis of the JCT’s Design and Build contract. Contractors are not obliged to search for discrepancies in design documents supplied to them, but must immediately give notice of any that are spotted.

CL guides
Concurrent delay
Naithan McBride and Joanna Logie of DLA Piper explain issues surrounding concurrent delay in the latest article in our series of guides to the fundamental principles of construction law.

Legislation
Safe as houses?
In the first instalment of a two part article Chris Bryden and Georgia Whiting, Barristers of Chambers of Timothy Raggatt QC, 4 King’s Bench Walk, analyse the legislative regime relating to fire safety. Is it fit for purpose in the modern age, they ask?

Project bank accounts
Project bank accounts – can you bank on them?
Vijay Bange and Manpreet Kandola of Trowers & Hamlins LLP examine the impact that project bank accounts (PBAs) can have on maintaining cash flow along the supply chain. Two contractors add comments on how they view PBAs.

Adjudication
This house believes adjudication is better than court
Anne Wright of Lawrence Stephens Solicitors and Kings College Construction Law Association reports from a debate at Kings College on whether adjudication was preferable to litigation for resolving disputes. The voting revealed a significant preference, but recognition that both had their place.

Adjudication and insolvency
Claire Martin and Nick Pinder of Eversheds explain the implications of a recent appeal court ruling on whether adjudicators can have jurisdiction when an adjudication is commenced by an insolvent party.

Insurance
Brokers’ professional negligence
Insurance expert John D Wright of JD Risk Associates examines the case law and the complex issues involved in the all too common event of an insurance broker being negligent in advising clients. A key case might yet be appealed.

Alternative dispute resolution
No ‘right’ way to arbitrate
In our latest alternative dispute resolution series article Tracey Summerell of Dentons UK and Middle East LLP examines the recent ICC construction industry arbitrations report, aimed at arbitrators with little experience of ICC rules.

Health and safety fines rise following new guideline

Fines for large organisations sentenced for health and safety offences have increased following the introduction of new sentencing guidelines, according to analysis published by the Sentencing Council.

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Survey shows scale of UK procurement fraud

Procurement fraud is widespread in the UK and businesses are struggling to tackle the problem using out-dated manual controls and rules based software detection, new research from analytics firm SAS indicates.

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Roll out of new pre-qualification system begins

Launch of the first phase of a new pre-qualification (PQ) system for construction sector procurements has been announced by trade bodies Build UK and the Civil Engineering Contractors Association.

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Call for major review of public procurement

Government should conduct a large scale and comprehensive review of public procurement following recent outsourcing failures according to independent think tank Reform.

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Mabey blows whistle on groundworks cartel

The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) is investigating three major suppliers of groundworks products to the construction industry after one of the firms blew the whistle over cartel activity.

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Initiatives launched to tackle slavery in supply chains

A new tool to help prevent modern slavery in public sector supply chains has been launched by the Home Office alongside an online training course on ethical procurement.

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Currency fluctuation risk explored in new issue

Managing the impact of currency fluctuation on the construction sector is considered crucial by Construction Law guest editor Chris Philpot of HFW in the latest issue of the magazine, published this week.

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Managing currency fluctuation risk

Currency movements can always have unwelcome impacts on construction projects, especially at times of uncertainty such as that induced by Brexit. Guest editor Chris Philpot of HFW warns that the trend towards larger single package contracts makes managing the risk ever more crucial.

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Reports from the courts: April 2019

Our latest round up of court cases of most interest to construction from Andrew Croft and Ben Spannuth of Beale & Company Solicitors LLP focus on one that highlights the importance of considering contracts in their entirety; and another affecting adjudication and insolvency.

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