Lawyers warn of rising disputes over materials shortage

Severe shortages of construction products and materials which resulted in a record rise in purchasing prices last month will inevitably lead to an increase in disputes as projects suffer ensuing disruption, lawyers are warning.

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Supreme Court ruling gives clarity on liquidated damages

Firms which have had contracts terminated on projects can still be liable to pay liquidated damages accrued prior to termination in respect of uncompleted work, the Supreme Court has ruled, overturning an earlier controversial decision by the Court of Appeal.

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Highway contractors expected to act on carbon reduction

Highways England has pledged to achieve net zero in its construction and maintenance activities by 2040, with suppliers to start being required to meet emissions reduction projects on all projects from the middle of the current decade.

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Materials manufacturer fined for health and safety failings

A manufacturer of building materials has been handed fines totalling £282,100 after a worker was diagnosed with Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) due to repeatedly using vibrating tools above the recommended limits; and a second worker sustained electrical burns in a separate incident.

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Procurement best practice set out for public bodies

The National Audit Office has published new good practice guidance which aims to help improve management of the commercial lifecycle among public sector contracting authorities, including procurement processes.

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News in Brief: 23 July 2021

Government should pay its suppliers sooner rather than using supply chain finance, a Treasury Select Committee report on lessons learned from the failure of Greensill Capital has recommended.

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Mandatory dispute resolution declared legal

Compulsory alternative dispute resolution has been declared legal by the Civil Justice Council, which reported this week that compelling parties to take part in mediation could be “desirable and effective” in certain circumstances. However one lawyer notes that at its heart ADR requires a willingness to come to the table and negotiate.

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Caution urged on sites as Covid restrictions lift

Site Operating Procedures developed to help ensure safe working on English construction projects during the pandemic will cease to reflect current government guidance from this Monday. However the Construction Leadership Council urges continued caution by the sector, while rules in Scotland are set to remain broadly unchanged.

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Review of road building policy promised

Government will review policy underpinning its strategic road building programme to take into account its commitments on climate change, the Department for Transport has announced in its new Transport Decarbonisation Plan.

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Climate litigation cases rise globally

Climate change litigation cases have been increasing markedly across the world over the past six years and pose a risk to an expanding range of companies and policymakers, according to a new report.

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