Construction Law – December 2021

Editor’s comment
Construction called to perform on net-zero plans
Construction will be central to plans to achieve net-zero carbon by 2050, and the industry is poised to respond, says Editor Nick Barrett, who warns that construction contracts are expected to contain decarbonisation clauses in future.

News
This month’s news roundup features details of a landmark net zero roadmap for construction published at COP26, response to government pledges on unsafe cladding and an update on a dispute over problems with Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Legal terms explained
Lucinda Hill and Sienna Kim of Herbert Smith Freehills LLP explain contractual time bars.

Guest editor
The Glasgow Climate Pact – What can the construction industry contribute?
Guest Editors Shona Frame and Emma Schaafsma of CMS ask what contribution construction can make to combatting climate change following the signing of the Glasgow Climate Pact at COP26. Major changes will be needed, along with a lot of innovation and investment, and contractual mechanisms to force contractors to seek greener suppliers can be expected.

Legislation state of play table
Our regular update on the progress of legislation affecting construction as it passes through the legislative process, compiled by Construction Law staff, with a Commentary by News Editor Steve Dale.

Reports from the courts
Our regular round up of court decisions of most interest to construction comes from Andrew Croft and Ben Spannuth of Beale & Company Solicitors LLP who examine a case showing the importance of giving notice effectively when disputing a final statement; and an appeal court ruling confirming that enforcement of an adjudication decision by an insolvent claimant is possible, albeit in limited circumstances.

Book Review
Construction Disputes – Seeking Sensible Solutions
Middle East based mediator and arbitrator Mark Fraser of Fraser & Co reviews Construction Disputes – Seeking Sensible Solutions by Wayne Clark, which he says is recommended reading for anyone involved in construction and engineering.

CL guides
Procurement routes
In our latest Guide to Construction Law series article Peter Lowe of DLA Piper summarises the conventional construction procurement routes in the UK.

Insolvency
A game of chess – insolvency vs. adjudication
Theresa Mohammed and Laura Lintott of Trowers & Hamlins LLP analyse the possible clash between the insolvency and statutory adjudication regimes where a party to a dispute faces insolvency. Case law provides clarity on the right to adjudicate, but practical problems might remain.

FIDIC
The Engineer, aka FIDIC Kingpin
In the second article of our series on FIDIC contracts David Brown and Barnaby Sandy of Clyde & Co examine the role of the Engineer. The Engineer’s role is changing but it can still have a ‘piggy in the middle’ feel about it.

Fluctuations
Super-inflation and the construction and energy sector in the UK
Karen Gough of 39 Essex Chambers analyses a seldom reported fact about adjudication, that despite it being established that an adjudicator can only deal with a single dispute in an adjudication, satellite disputes and jurisdictional challenges continually arise around the issue.

Collaboration
The elastic band of contractual flexibility and Covid-19
Alexander Slade of Vinson & Elkins asks whether the flexibility and collaboration that has been displayed by parties to contracts during the Covid-19 pandemic heralds a new dawn for industry relationships; or will things snap back under the pressure, leading to an increase in disputes?

Insurance
Statutes of Limitation – Still Adapting
Our insurance expert John D Wright of JD Risk Associates examines the impact of statutes of limitation on construction insurance. Post Grenfell, a Building Safety Bill will extend the long stop time limit from six years to fifteen years in respect of defects in buildings which render them unfit for habitation under the Defective Premises Act 1972 and introduce retrospective liability.

Alternative dispute resolution
Mainstreaming ADR: feedback and ideas
In our latest Alternative Dispute Resolution series article Tracey Summerell and Akin Akinbode of Dentons describe their team’s response to the Ministry of Justice call for evidence on dispute resolution.

Danish-German tunnel works pause for lawsuit

A temporary halt on dredging work for the German side of the sub-sea Fehmarnbelt tunnel to Denmark has been agreed following a court application by activists concerned over the destruction of protected reef habitats.

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.

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

Sentences given for safety failings on Irvine housing site

A construction company has been fined and its director disqualified for two years after multiple health and safety failings, giving rise to significant risk, were discovered on a house building site in Irvine, Scotland.

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.

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

MPs to scrutinise government action on unsafe cladding

Government announcements on building safety which included a move to make developers pay for the replacement of unsafe cladding on medium rise residential blocks are to be scrutinised by a committee of MPs.

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.

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

Watchdog extends probe into Babcock audits

An investigation into audits of engineering services company Babcock International’s finances by PwC has been extended by the Financial Reporting 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 right.

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

Proposals tabled to prevent two tier building safety system

Local authorities are urging MPs to back proposed amendments to the Building Safety Bill which aim to prevent creation of a ‘two tier’ system where buildings below 18m will face less rigorous safety regulations than high rise buildings.

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.

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

Construction worker dies after falling from tower

A construction company has been fined after an employee died as a result of falling from a mobile tower; safety was compromised due to the tower being configured incorrectly.

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.

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

Housing and infrastructure projects face biodiversity mandate

Proposals on how to implement a forthcoming mandate which will require new housing and infrastructure developments to deliver a biodiversity net gain have been set out for public consultation.

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.

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

KPMG admits it misled regulator over Carillion audits 

Auditing giant KPMG’s chief executive has admitted that the firm misled the Financial Reporting Council during its investigations into audits of collapsed contractor Carillion and another company’s finances, as a disciplinary tribunal commenced earlier this week.

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.

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

Firms slammed for delaying safety culture changes

Too many construction firms are “hiding” behind trade organisations and waiting for legislation rather than showing proactive leadership in the drive to improve the sector’s building safety practices, according to Dame Judith Hackitt.

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.

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

Building safety plans prove controversial with industry

Government’s plan to make developers foot the bill for fixing the cladding crisis on medium-rise flats is too limited to tackle wider fire safety concerns, fails to hold material manufacturers accountable and will impact the availability of insurance across construction, industry commentators have warned.

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.

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