Budget seeks cost cuts

Public sector construction and infrastructure procurement are to be reformed under government plans to cut costs by 20 per cent. A series of reform measures are to be rolled out starting in May, according to the Government Plan for Growth document that was published along with the 23 March Budget.

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No sympathy for the OFT

The Office of Fair Trading could expect no sympathy from the construction industry over the headline in the Times that announced the unprecedented cuts in fines imposed on six of the contractors found guilty of cover pricing: ‘Hammering for OFT as builder’s fines are slashed’ it thundered.

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When is appointing an arbitrator discriminatory?

David Owens and David Prior of Clyde & Co with the latest in our alternative dispute resolution series. Care needs to be taken in selecting an arbitrator to avoid accidental discrimination.

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Complex structure theory unresolved

Ashley Pigott and Alex Freeman of Wragge & Co update an earlier article on complex structure theory in the light of a court decision that provides further guidance on the theory as well as its application in tort.

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Concurrent delays – an expert’s view

Expert witness Roger Gibson of Gibson Consulting Ltd gives his view of a potentially landmark case in the Scottish courts that involved analysis of concurrent delay.

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Insurance claims – a series issue

Much litigation arises over the use of aggregation, or ‘series’, clauses in insurance policies. Insurance expert John D Wright of JD Risk Associates explains why.

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The importance of being reasonable

Recovery of rectifications costs for defects arising outwith the liability period can be difficult, but not impossible, as Digby Hebbard of Trowers & Hamlins explains with reference to a case he was recently involved in.

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Everybody makes mistakes …

If a contract contains clear mistakes that benefit one of the parties the courts may take the view that it should not be strictly enforced – or they might not. Georgia Smith of Pinsent Masons looks at some recent case law.

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Do you really understand the Construction Act?

Andrew Jones of Gateley Wareing examines the proposed Construction Act reforms for their practical impact. Despite improvements to the payments regime, contracts still need to contain clear payment and interest provisions.

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Lacking definition

Contracts monitor Michael Phipps, Principal of Thurston Consultants, continues his review of the JCT’s Minor Works Building Contract and finds that not all terms that should be defined are in fact so. This could be dangerous, he warns.

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