Construction Law: June 2017

Editor’s comment    
Construction and lawyers face same wave of change
Collaboration and innovation are regarded as essential for improving construction performance, but they might not be enough. Editor Nick Barrett reports on warnings technological changes will force even more sweeping changes across all industries.

Our news round up this month features a trial for Integrated Project Insurance; a survey showing that fines for health and safety breaches have doubled; and imprisonment for three company directors following the death of a worker.

Legal terms explained
James Doe and Philip Parrott of Herbert Smith Freehills LLP explain what is meant by the term material breach.

Guest editor
FAC-1: £9.5 billion in its first year
Guest editor Professor David Mosey of King’s College London Centre of Construction Law reports on the first year of use of the FAC-1 Framework Alliance Contract. A major success has been its adoption by the Crown Commercial Service on its £2.8 billion national frameworks of project managers and architects.

Legislation state of play table
Our regular update of the progress of legislation as it passes through the UK and EC legislative systems is provided by Clyde & Co, with a commentary on the recent Nuclear Decommissioning Authority case by George Bazinas and Alexander Ghandi.

Reports from the courts
Our regular round up of the court cases of most interest to construction, by Simii Sivapalan and Andrew Croft of Beale & Company Solicitors LLP, looks at a decision shedding light on how the courts interpret the NEC3 ‘mutual trust and cooperation’ obligations; and another highlighting the perils of lengthy and document heavy contracts.

Contracts monitor
Termination a major complexity on minor works
Contracts monitor Michael Phipps, Principal of Thurston Consultants, continues to scrutinise the JCT Minor Works contract, particularly its insurance provisions. Not all defined terms being used are found in the definitions list.

CL guides
CL Guide to: Letters of intent 
Jennie Price of DLA Piper presents the latest of our ‘nuts and bolts’ guides to construction law, explaining how letters of intent work and pitfalls to watch out for.

Introducing NEC4 – what changes are proposed?
Anthony Albertini and Emily Morris of Clyde & Co LLP take an early look at the promised changes that NEC4 will contain. Will an over reliance on Z-clauses be ended?

Modern slavery
Transparency and the Modern Slavery Act 2015
Larger companies now need to publish annual statements about their anti-human slavery policies. Suriya Edwards of Geldards explains what has to be done to avoid falling foul of the modern slavery legislation.

Termination for convenience seldom a two-way street
Marie-Therese Groarke of Withers examines case law relating to ‘termination for convenience’ clauses, which are increasingly being used as nervousness caused by volatility induced by Brexit and falling oil prices grows.

Valuing variations in the Middle East
Andrew Jones of Dentons warns that contractual rates that overstate the value of contract items can come back to haunt contractors, as some are finding against a background of falling demand in the Middle East.

Plant hire imposes onerous conditions
Insurance expert John D Wright of JD Risk Associates warns of the possible insurance problems faced when covering risk of damage and theft to hired plant. More than one policy might have to be in place, he warns.

Alternative dispute resolution
How not to resist enforcement of an adjudicator’s decision
In our latest alternative dispute resolution series article Nathanial Horrocks-Burns of Clyde & Co analyses a TCC case that can be taken as a guide on how not to challenge an adjudicator’s decision.