Supplemental provisions need a rewrite

Our contracts watchdog Michael Phipps, Principal of Thurston Consultants, welcomes the JCT Minor Works Building Contract’s promotion of collaborative approaches to projects. Mobilising the Contractor to the benefit of all parties won’t be easy though.

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Reports from the courts: May 2011

Professor Michael Furmston of Bristol University presents our regular round up of cases of most interest to construction including one relating to letters of release; and a spectacular example of a contract going wrong.

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Corporate Manslaughter – a refresher

In 2007 the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 (the Act) was introduced, and it came into force in April 2008.

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State of play table: 160

This table, prepared by Clyde & Co, provides a regularly amended guide to new and proposed legislation that will affect the construction industry. In addition to EU Directives and UK legislation, the table includes notes highlighting discussion papers issued by both government and non-government organisations, and commentary on the latest developments.

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Corporate manslaughter – some questions

The first corporate manslaughter case has now been through the courts, but, as Guest Editor Craig Turnbull of MacRoberts says, the case posed more questions than it answered.

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Legal terms explained: Reasonable endeavours and the recent CPC v Qatari Diar case

Obligations to use ‘reasonable endeavours’ and variations on the theme are often included in construction agreements. As these phrases are usually undefined there is scope for interpretation. Questions that have arisen before the courts include the difference between ‘reasonable endeavours’ and ‘best endeavours’.

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News in brief: May 2011

The Health and Safety Executive is considering plans to charge companies up to £200 an hour for inspectors’ time if they are found to have breached safety laws. The ‘fee for fault’ proposals will be put out for consultation later this year.

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Defence work reorganised

Defence Estates has handed over all of its procurement to a new body called the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, which started operation on 1 April. The reorganisation is part of a drive to achieve savings of over £1,000m over four years on a budget yet to be confirmed.

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Rail revolution under way

Network Rail has announced a radical overhaul of its procurement strategy on £6,000m of railway projects in a bid to cut costs. Earlier involvement of designers and contractors is promised in what Network Rail says represents a revolution in its procurement.

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Cost review plan revealed

The Treasury has released details of the next steps in its drive to save up to £3,000m a year on infrastructure construction costs that was revealed last year in an Infrastructure Cost Report.

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