Tag Archives: construction disputes

ILN Today Post

Enigmatic variations

This article was previously published in www.building.co.uk

Variations are difficult to avoid in construction work, but two recent cases show that there is plenty of scope for disagreement over how they should be valued

Variations are an inevitable part of construction and it is probably impossible to avoid them altogether, given the complexities of the construction process. They do, however, present an increased risk to a project. For example, it is well known that accidents are more likely when carrying out a variation. This is because a variation often does not receive the careful consideration given to design or construction work which has been part of the project from the early stages. More…

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ILN Today Post

Stalled construction projects: can tenants cancel agreements for lease?

If a construction project stalls for lack of funding, can the proposed tenant cancel the agreement for lease? The answer to this question is not straightforward and the cost of getting it wrong and terminating without legal justification is very high. The court recently had an opportunity to consider this point and provided some useful indications on how to approach this kind of situation.

A few years ago a developer, Telford Homes, which is also a construction company, acquired land on the borders of Greenwich and Deptford. By October 2008 it had excavated almost the whole of a double storey basement and completed the foundation piling for four blocks, consisting of commercial units with flats above. Telford then entered into an agreement for lease with Ampurius for the purchase of the ground and first floor commercial units on 999 year leases.  More…

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ILN Today Post

The courts get tough!

Some recent judicial decisions in the Technology and Construction Court show the court is taking a less compromising attitude to litigants.

In the case of Venulum Property Investments Limited v Space Architecture Limited and others, Venulum had failed, by a mistake, to serve its particulars of claim within the time limits allowed by the court. The particulars of claim were served only a few days later, but by then the limitation period for commencing a court action had expired. One of the defendants refused to agree that time could be extended. Venulum applied to the court for the court to exercise its discretion and allow the late service but permission was refused. The court relied on the change of the Civil Procedure Rules on 1 April 2013, which now emphasise that it is part of the overriding objective of the court procedures that the court should enforce compliance with rules, practice directions and court orders. More…

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Not such a sweet outcome for popcorn plant

In August 2012, the Court of Appeal heard a case between the sweet manufacturer Trebor Basset (part of the Cadbury group) and ADT Fire and Security.

Trebor had a popcorn plant where corn was popped in pans of oil before being transported to a hopper for packaging. Trebor instructed ADT to design and install a fire suppressing system which would automatically release CO2 to extinguish any fire that broke out in the hopper. More…

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Extensions of time after Mackay

The Honeywood File(1) is a hilarious account of the catastrophes befalling the design, construction and agreement of the final account for a domestic residence. The book purports to be the architect’s file of correspondence with all parties. It was written in the 1920s and was ready for an updated version. This has now been provided (possibly inadvertently) in the judgment of Mr Justice Akenhead in the case of Walter Lilly v Mackay(2). The judgment starts with many extracts from the client’s emails and letters, as opposed to the architect’s, but tells a similar tale of woe (or disaster, to use the judge’s description) over the design, construction and agreement of the final account on a residential project.

The judgment covers every possible element of a final account but this article is concentrating on just one – extensions of time under the JCT contract. More…

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ILN Today Post

BIM – Let’s embrace progress

To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often, or so said the nation’s favourite Briton, Sir Winston Churchill. Advances in computer technology have dramatically changed the way we work and live. However, technologies in construction have fallen behind other industries. This may be because, unlike manufacturing, construction operations are rarely performed in a fixed sequence or at a fixed location. One only has to look at the aeronautical and motor industries to see how the use of three dimensional computer technologies has driven progress; the same cannot be said in construction. With the advent of Building Information Modelling (BIM) this imbalance has been tackled head on.

The term BIM should now be familiar to all of us. To recap, it comprises the use of three dimensional, real time, dynamic, building modelling software to increase proactivity in the design, construction and operation stages of a construction project. More…

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