In its latest offering, “CLC COVID-19 Claims and Disputes in Construction” the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) predicts that disputes related to COVID-19 are set to rise in 2021. While the optimist may hope that parties will continue to or aim to work collaboratively in order to find workable commercial solutions to claims arising from the global pandemic, the realist knows that such disputes are inevitable.
2020 will be forever synonymous with the global pandemic. The end of the year saw the approval of vaccines and with that a hope to an end, or at least the taming, of the Covid-19 pandemic. Whilst this has dominated the media in 2020, there has been momentum in the press and Parliament about the continuing problem of dangerous cladding.
A summary of the unfolding story board is below.
The final nail in the coffin of Christmas 2020 for me was getting a directive from NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate on the 23rd. So, instead of celebrating Christmas, I packed the missus off to her mother’s and settled down to read the snappily-titled “Trade And Cooperation Agreement Between The European Union And The European Atomic Energy Community, Of The One Part, And The United Kingdom Of Great Britain And Northern Ireland, Of The Other Part”. Otherwise known to you and me as the Brexit Deal.
The New Year has been ushered in by an alarming surge in hospitalisations and sadly a dramatic increase in deaths from the ongoing pandemic. The Government was under increasing pressures to take action. Consequently, the Prime Minister has on 3 January announced another national lockdown, with measures which became law on Wednesday 6th January 2021.
At first glance, the Court of Appeal’s recent decision in ABC Electrification Ltd v Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd  EWCA Civ 1645 might look like the culmination of an exercise in legal hubris. This was, after all, a case focussed on the meaning of a single word in a contract; moreover, a word – “default” – that most of us in the legal profession might say has a well-established meaning.
And, after several hundred thousand pounds of legal fees no doubt well spent, the Court of Appeal told the world that the word “default” means exactly what we all thought it meant – a failure to fulfil an obligation.
The issue of pollution in major cities in the UK has again been highlighted by the tragic death of a child whose family lived near the south circular in Lewisham. In a landmark case, the second coroner’s inquest found that the levels of pollution were above world safe levels, and that air pollution was a material cause of her death. This tragic case will bring to the fore the national debate on pollution and climate change.
Cash flow is the lifeblood of the construction industry. This phrase, coined by Lord Denning MR, and cited relentlessly in the construction industry still holds true. In times of recession, following the cash and preserving the funds that are in dispute is crucial. There is no point in spending time and money pursuing a dispute to fight over a pot of cash that is at real risk of being dissipated.
A real estate investor in an independent living facility in Texas has won a $7.9 million arbitration award against a construction company that delivered a project 179 days late.
The case should serve as a warning bell for integrated developer-owner-contractor companies that set up a “special purpose entity” for their development projects, said Benton Wheatley, partner in Duane Morris in Austin, who represented plaintiff Montgomery Street Partners.
To read the full text of this article, originally published in Texas Lawyer, please visit the firm website.
Adjudicators and Arbitrators are occasionally faced with a situation where one of the parties refuses to engage in the process. In such circumstances tribunals are left in a difficult position to ensure fairness and have regard to due process, whilst also giving careful consideration as to whether it is just and appropriate to continue the process. Ultimately, however, the reluctance of one party to engage should not deprive the other of their legal and contractual rights.
The Michigan Supreme Court overturned precedent and joined the jurisdictions that allow damages arising from construction defects to be the basis of a claim against a subcontractor’s comprehensive general liability (“CGL”) policy written on a 1986 ISO form. This decision opens the door to CGL claims for construction defects that had been shut in Michigan since Hawkeye-Security Ins Co v Vector Constr Co, 185 Mich App 369; 460 NW2d 329 (1990). Continue reading “Michigan Supreme Court Opens Door to CGL Claims for Construction Defects”