Procurement needs more competition and transparency
Public sector procurement has always been a focus of interest to Construction Law and in recent years recognition of the need for reform has been growing, writes Nick Barrett.
Our regular construction law and procurement news round up covers the demise of a Bill that sought to reform cash retentions, the issuing of fines totalling £36m to firms involved in a concrete products cartel and a call for government to use its procurement power to bring social value.
Legal terms explained
Philip Parrott and Noe Minamikata of Herbert Smith Freehills LLP explain the meaning of delay and disruption.
Onerous terms must be resisted
Guest editors Will Buckby and Madeleine Kelly of Beale & Company Solicitors LLP report that increasingly onerous conditions are being imposed on consultants, some which may not be covered by professional indemnity insurance. Consultants must be prepared to ‘walk away’ when conditions attempt to impose risks that cannot be properly managed, they urge.
Legislation state of play table
This table, prepared by Dentons UK and Middle East LLP, provides a regularly amended guide to new and proposed legislation that will affect the construction industry. In addition to UK legislation and EU Directives, the table includes notes highlighting discussion papers issued by both government and non-government organisations and commentary on the latest developments. Akin Akinbode and Tracey Summerell consider the CIOB’s new Code of Quality Management.
Reports from the courts
In our latest report on the cases of most interest to construction Andrew Croft and Ben Spannuth of Beale & Company Solicitors LLP analyse one which shows that the courts will not permit an action to be brought in breach of an agreement containing a dispute resolution procedure; and another from Scotland that increases certainties surrounding collateral warranties.
Risks from drive to low carbon future
The drive to a low carbon economy is underway worldwide. Editor Nick Barrett reports on clear warnings being given to companies that don’t get their low carbon act together that politicians, regulators, the public and their clients will be lining up to dish out punishment.
In this month’s guide Hannah Thomas of DLA Piper provides an overview of four key legal issues relating to sites – access; responsibility for the site; unforeseen conditions; and ownership of materials.
Protecting yourself from insolvency
Construction insolvencies are rising at an increasing rate and companies of all sizes are being liquidated leaving trails of debt behind. Simon Lewis and Philippa Jones of Womble Bond Dickinson examine the common causes of insolvency and suggests ways to protect your position.
Smart contracting technology is ready for use
Tracey Summerell and Mark Macaulay of Dentons UK and Middle East LLP analyse the obstacles to smart contracts being widely adopted in construction. The reality of smart contracting may be closer than you think, they suggest.
Dispute boards’ use likely to grow
The use of dispute boards has been growing on international projects as Rebecca Shorter of White & Case LLP reports. Although the adjudication regime reduces their need in the UK, for larger projects their use looks likely to grow.
Targeting costs with Alliancing
While growing in popularity, Alliancing remains light years away from being as popular in the UK as it is in Australia, for example. Its use is growing however, as Cecily Davis of Freshfields notes in this examination of the gain/pain sharing that lies at the heart of Alliancing.
Professional indemnity market hardens
Insurance premiums are rising again, cover is harder to find and the outlook is for more of the same, as insurance expert John D Wright of JD Risk Associates explains in this overview of current trends in the professional indemnity market.
Alternative dispute resolution
How to improve mediation uptake?
In our latest alternative dispute resolution series article Malcolm Gunnyeon of Dentons UK and Middle East LLP reports on the introduction of a Mediation Bill in Scotland.