Construction Law July 2022

Editor’s comment
Bid rigging a thing of the past?
Editor Nick Barrett detects signs that some anti competitive behaviour in construction could be viewed as a thing of the past by competition regulators; but never underestimate criminal stupidity he warns.

News
This month’s news roundup features a warning that poor information management is affecting construction firms’ ability to defend themselves against claims, as well as a cladding dispute involving Balfour Beatty and a report which suggests funders are likely to steer clear of high polluting schemes.

Legal terms explained
Sebastian Morton, Elissa Patel and Mathew Shelley of Herbert Smith Freehills LLP explain how subrogation works.

Guest editor
Root and branch reform needed to tackle building safety
Guest Editor, Philip Bambagiotti of 3PB Barristers questions whether the proposed post Grenfell approach to building safety will deliver. A new law reform strategy is needed to address widespread problems of defective buildings, he argues.

Legislation state of play table
Our regular update on the progress of legislation and other developments affecting construction from News Editor Steve Dale who provides a commentary on the CLC’s reponse to rising inflation.

Reports from the courts
Our regular round up of recent court decisions of most interest to construction comes from Andrew Croft and Ben Spannuth of Beale & Company Solicitors LLP who examine a case that reinforces the courts’ robust approach to adjudication enforcement, and highlights the importance of compliance with the immediate payment obligation where the requisite notices have not been served; and a fire safety related case where the decision contrasts with a recent claimant-friendly decision.

Analysis
Five years on from Grenfell – a review of progress
News editor Steve Dale takes stock of the key building safety developments which have followed in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire. Progress has been slow, with some corners of the industry being urged to show greater impetus.

CL guides
Contract Administration
In our latest CL Guides series article Lynn Auchterlonie of DLA Piper examines the role of the Contracts Administrator.

Technology
Enabling the digital twin
Anne-Marie Friel and Alastair Dale of Pinsent Masons LLP explain why BIM will be at the heart of developing the ‘golden thread’ of digital information, and argue that contracts and procurement strategies need to change their approach to accommodate this.

Contracts
Dealing with inflation under NEC Secondary Option X1
Inflation is a problem for the industry and it is getting worse. Isobel Moorhouse and Jane Hughes of Trowers & Hamlins LLP examine how the NEC4 engineering and construction contract handles the need for price adjustments.

Limitation Clauses
The limits of limitation of liability clauses
Barristers Chris Bryden and Georgia Whiting of 4 King’s Bench Walk review recent case law affecting the use and limits of limitation clauses, which reaffirms that the courts are likely to take a strict approach to the construction of an exclusion or limitation clause, particularly where the right in question is a valuable one.

Arbitration
Tiered Alternative Dispute Resolution Agreements
Vijay K. Bange of Duane Morris examines a recent Hong Kong court decision affecting tiered Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) provisions that considers if it is within the jurisdiction of the courts to decide if the parties to a contract have complied with the ratchet dispute resolution procedure, or whether this should be dealt with by the arbitral tribunal.

Insurance
Insurers still challenging Covid claims
Insurance expert John D Wright of JD Risk Associates warns that although Covid remains a threat to businesses the insurance industry does not regard pandemics as being covered by non damage denial of access clauses. A Supreme Court ruling leaves some existing individual claims unresolved.

Alternative dispute resolution
ADR’s place in the Digital Justice System
Our latest alternative dispute resolution series article, from Tracey Summerell of Dentons UK and Middle East, analyses the role that might be played by ADR as the justice system digitalises.

Building safety doubts explored in CL’s July issue

Doubts over whether the new post-Grenfell regulatory regime will deliver safer buildings are set out by Guest Editor Philip Bambagiotti of 3PB Barristers in the latest printed issue of Construction Law, which will arrive with subscribers shortly.

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Sector lacks critical emissions data, warns climate report

Poor availability of emissions data is holding back the ability to measure the impact of decarbonisation efforts in the construction sector, the independent Climate Change Committee has warned in its latest annual progress report.

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TCC report shows further increase in claims

Claims brought to the Technology & Construction Court rose again last year in England and Wales, while some 62% of cases started were settled before judgement, sometimes very shortly before trial.

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RIBA launches study into industry’s PII crisis

The Royal Institute of British Architects has launched a review of market conditions for Professional Indemnity Insurance in light of concerns that firms are experiencing difficulty obtaining affordable and comprehensive cover.

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Leaseholder protections from fire safety costs come into force

New laws protecting leaseholders living in buildings above 11 metres from having to foot the bill for work to fix critical fire safety defects – including the removal of dangerous cladding – came into force this week under the Building Safety Act.

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 right.

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Root and branch reform needed to tackle building safety

Guest Editor, Philip Bambagiotti of 3PB Barristers questions whether the proposed post Grenfell approach to building safety will deliver. A new law reform strategy is needed to address widespread problems of defective buildings, he argues.

This story is only available to subscribers to the printed edition of Construction Law. If you have a subscription please log in to read the rest of the story.

Reports from the courts: July 2022

Our latest round up of the court decisions of most interest to construction comes from Andrew Croft and Ben Spannuth of Beale & Company Solicitors LLP who examine a case that reinforces the courts’ robust approach to adjudication enforcement, and highlights the importance of compliance with the immediate payment obligation where the requisite notices have not been served; and a fire safety related case where the decision contrasts with a recent claimant-friendly decision.

This story is only available to subscribers to the printed edition of Construction Law. If you have a subscription please log in to read the rest of the story.

Five years on from Grenfell – a review of progress

News editor Steve Dale takes stock of the key building safety developments which have followed in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire. Progress has been slow, with some corners of the industry being urged to show greater impetus.

This story is only available to subscribers to the printed edition of Construction Law. If you have a subscription please log in to read the rest of the story.