Construction Law: July 2018

Editor’s comment
Procurement reform pressure mounts
Editor Nick Barrett says the need for reform of construction’s procurement and contractual regime is being highlighted by the Grenfell Tower disaster inquiry and the Dame Judith Hackitt report.

News
This month’s news round up features an update on project performance at Sellafield; reports highlighting growing payment delays in construction; and a call for contractors to co-operate with the Grenfell inquiry.

Legal terms explained
Lucinda Hill and Michael Mendelblat of Herbert Smith Freehills explain the meaning of no oral modification clauses.

Guest editor
Big ambitions seen in 25 Year environment plan
Guest editor Helen Bowdren of Dentons UK & Middle East LLP says the government’s 25 Year Plan for the Environment may be light on new legal obligations but it does provide useful pointers to possible future policy developments. Net environmental gain might become mandatory, she warns.

Legislation state of play table
Clyde & Co provide an update on the progress of legislation affecting construction as it passes through the UK and EC legislative systems. Tim Axtmann and Hannah Merriam provide a commentary on the Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety.

Reports from the courts
Our regular round up of the court decisions of most interest to construction from Andrew Croft and Ben Spannuth of Beale & Company Solicitors LLP looks at a Scottish case that highlights the interaction between design obligations and workmanship obligations; and another that introduces a new ground for seeking to resist enforcement of an adjudicator’s decision.

Contracts monitor
No bid no bar to future tendering
Our contracts monitor Michael Phipps, Principal of Thurston Consultants, continues his review of the JCT Tendering Practice Note, moving on to the final stages, including notifying unsuccessful tenderers of the outcome.

CL guide
CL guide to FIDIC
In our latest Construction Law Guide Rachel Chaplin and Alexander Studholme of DLA Piper provide an introduction to FIDIC contracts.

Adjudication
Adjudication enforcement: plugging the gap or opening the floodgates?
David Skelton of Womble Bond Dickinson examines the ‘fast track’ procedure for adjudication enforcement decisions established by the Technology and Construction Court. Defendants to enforcement proceedings have been provided with a new defence by recent cases.

Building regulations
Buildings regulatory framework not fit for purpose
Dame Judith Hackitt’s much-anticipated final report on building regulations and fire safety was published on 17 May 2018. Stephen Radcliffe of Walker Morris LLP considers the report and the implications for the construction industry.

Insurance
Joint names insurance – still a problem for sub-contractors
Insurance expert John D Wright of JD Risk Associates describes the problems for sub-contractors thrown up by joint names insurance policies. Case law has done nothing to remove uncertainties, he argues.

Immigration
Impact of Brexit on the construction workforce
Jessica Pattinson of Dentons warns that the construction industry is facing an unprecedented impact from Brexit as the supply of labour from the EU countries comes under threat. Employers will have to ensure compliance to immigration law.

Retentions
Time to scrap retentions?
Some 40% of construction clients already operate quite happily without requiring retentions and the list is growing. Peter Kitson, partner at Russell-Cooke reviews current practices and examines some alternatives – but why not scrap them, he asks?

Alternative dispute resolution
Ongoing duty of disclosure for arbitrators and adjudicators
In our latest alternative dispute resolution series article Chris Leadbetter of Clyde & Co reports on an appeal court ruling that underlines the disclosure duties of arbitrators and adjudicators.

News in Brief: 20 July

Spanish train manufacturer CAF (Construcciones Y Auxiliar De Ferrocarriles) has been added to the shortlist for High Speed Two’s £2.75Bn rolling stock contract following a High Court challenge.

To read more of this and every other news story on this site, please log in with your Construction Law membership account details. If you don't have an account, you can get free access to the news on this site and receive a free newsletter on Fridays by creating a Newsletter account. See the panel to the left.

Subscribers to the printed magazine get access to the entire Construction law website.

Kier faces £600,000 block crush fine

Kier has received its second fine in the space of a week for health and safety offences. The contractor was fined £600,000 on Tuesday following an incident that saw a block of pre-cast concrete fall onto a worker’s leg during a project to build two rail bridges near Cardiff.

To read more of this and every other news story on this site, please log in with your Construction Law membership account details. If you don't have an account, you can get free access to the news on this site and receive a free newsletter on Fridays by creating a Newsletter account. See the panel to the left.

Subscribers to the printed magazine get access to the entire Construction law website.

Councils in breach of 30 day payment rules

Almost nine in 10 local authorities are failing to monitor whether their suppliers are getting paid within 30 days for construction work, according to data obtained by two industry trade bodies.

To read more of this and every other news story on this site, please log in with your Construction Law membership account details. If you don't have an account, you can get free access to the news on this site and receive a free newsletter on Fridays by creating a Newsletter account. See the panel to the left.

Subscribers to the printed magazine get access to the entire Construction law website.

Mediations rise by a fifth

Commercial mediations are on the rise with 12,000 having been performed in the UK over the last 12 months, marking an increase of 20% on statistics from 2016.

To read more of this and every other news story on this site, please log in with your Construction Law membership account details. If you don't have an account, you can get free access to the news on this site and receive a free newsletter on Fridays by creating a Newsletter account. See the panel to the left.

Subscribers to the printed magazine get access to the entire Construction law website.

Kier fined over school roof fall

Kier Facilities Services has been fined £200,000 this week for safety breaches after a subcontractor’s employee fell from the roof of an east London school in December 2014.

To read more of this and every other news story on this site, please log in with your Construction Law membership account details. If you don't have an account, you can get free access to the news on this site and receive a free newsletter on Fridays by creating a Newsletter account. See the panel to the left.

Subscribers to the printed magazine get access to the entire Construction law website.

Working at height breaches on the rise

Health and safety consultant the Building Safety Group is reporting a 13% rise in the number of ‘working at height’ safety breaches recorded on construction sites in the last few months.

To read more of this and every other news story on this site, please log in with your Construction Law membership account details. If you don't have an account, you can get free access to the news on this site and receive a free newsletter on Fridays by creating a Newsletter account. See the panel to the left.

Subscribers to the printed magazine get access to the entire Construction law website.

Network Rail looks to appoint legal advisers

Network Rail has launched a tender exercise to appoint four full service legal firms, which will partner with the organisation’s in house legal team to provide advice across a broad range of legal disciplines.

To read more of this and every other news story on this site, please log in with your Construction Law membership account details. If you don't have an account, you can get free access to the news on this site and receive a free newsletter on Fridays by creating a Newsletter account. See the panel to the left.

Subscribers to the printed magazine get access to the entire Construction law website.

Government outsourcing practices slammed by committee

Carillion’s collapse has exposed fundamental flaws in Government outsourcing and contracting, reports the House of Commons’ Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee.

To read more of this and every other news story on this site, please log in with your Construction Law membership account details. If you don't have an account, you can get free access to the news on this site and receive a free newsletter on Fridays by creating a Newsletter account. See the panel to the left.

Subscribers to the printed magazine get access to the entire Construction law website.

Director jailed after fatal explosion on site

Construction director Simon Thomerson has been sentenced to eight months in custody after pleading guilty to a health and safety breach that resulted in the death of two brothers following an explosion on site.

To read more of this and every other news story on this site, please log in with your Construction Law membership account details. If you don't have an account, you can get free access to the news on this site and receive a free newsletter on Fridays by creating a Newsletter account. See the panel to the left.

Subscribers to the printed magazine get access to the entire Construction law website.

Common procurement approach urged in construction

Industry should produce a universal methodology for procurement and promote common and consistent standards across the construction sector, according to a new report from the Construction Leadership Council.

To read more of this and every other news story on this site, please log in with your Construction Law membership account details. If you don't have an account, you can get free access to the news on this site and receive a free newsletter on Fridays by creating a Newsletter account. See the panel to the left.

Subscribers to the printed magazine get access to the entire Construction law website.