Invest More and Invest Quickly: The Prime Minister’s New Deal

As  Vijay Bange commented in his blog post on Tuesday,  Boris Johnson has announced £5bn of new funding for building and infrastructure projects in the UK.

This sounds like a lot of money, but in real terms it is not anything like enough to restart the economy in the manner suggested by the Government. In the heady days before COVID-19, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced new investment into infrastructure in the UK totaling £600bn between now and 2025. By comparison, £5bn is nothing like what is required to “level up” the economy in the way promised by the Chancellor. In his Dudley address, the Prime Minister confirmed that the £5bn promised was an accelerated release of those funds promised by the Chancellor, but it remains to be seen whether that £600bn will ultimately be released.

To read the full text of this post by Duane Morris partner Steve Nichol, please visit the Duane Morris London Blog.

Boris Johnson Announces Plans to Rebuild Britain

As the government eases the lockdown provisions around the country, the Prime Minister today made a speech in Dudley, the historical heart of the industrial revolution, setting out his £5 billion economic recovery plan for the country. This is the government’s plan to build our way out of the recession caused by the pandemic, and has been compared to the New Deal proposed during the Great Depression by US President Franklin D Roosevelt.

To read the full text of this post by Duane Morris partner Vijay Bange, please visit the Duane Morris London Blog.

Climate Change – A Wind of Change for Construction?

On Friday 28th February there was an incredibly well supported and organised Youth Strike for climate change protest in Bristol, at which Greta Thunberg addressed the masses. Thousands were there in support. There were safety concerns given the number of children attending this protest. There were clearly some mixed views given the disruption caused to locals, with anger at the damage to the college green in front of the Anglican Cathedral grounds.

What resonated with me was a local man’s comments during an interview for national news. He said that “it won’t change anything”. However, we then had the decision of the Court of Appeal in favour of climate campaigners that has sent a real wakeup call. The Court ruled that the transport secretary at the relevant time, who made the decision for the new third runway at Heathrow Airport, should have taken into account the latest government commitments on climate change before granting permission for the proposed expansion at Heathrow.

To read the full text of this article by Duane Morris partner Vijay Bange, please visit the firm website.

UK Construction & Engineering: Practice and Procedure: Pre-action Disclosure

Requests by a party for disclosure of further documents is often a vexed issue, and the motives may in some instances be tactical, and inevitably it’s a costly affair. Recently, its been reported that the insurers for HCC International Insurance Company, PLC in its dispute with Roc Nation LLC (Rapper Jay-Z’s management company), has sought a motion before a New York federal judge seeking disclosure of documents from a UK Broker, and which will entail the discovery requests to be ultimately pursued via the process in the UK courts. Roc Nation has alleged that this is an attempt to “kick the can farther down the road”, and is objecting to the motion.

To read the full text of this post by Duane Morris attorneys Vijay Bange and Matthew Friedlander, please visit the Duane Morris London Blog.

Open All Hours – Greater Flexibility with Site Opening Hours for UK Construction

Throughout the lockdown in the UK, the construction industry has been allowed to remain open for business providing that compliance with the Public Health England measures is maintained. However, most national house builders at least had taken a decision to close sites. Boris Johnson on Sunday 10th May, in his long awaited press briefing on the potential relaxation of social distancing road map, made clear that those in construction and manufacturing should go back to work, if they could.

To read the full text of this blog post by Duane Morris attorney Vijay Bange, please visit the Duane Morris London Blog.

New York’s Construction Master Guidance Requires COVID-19 Precautions for All Projects

Governor Andrew Cuomo has released interim guidance regarding construction in New York state. These guidelines apply to both nonessential construction businesses in regions that are permitted to reopen and essential construction businesses throughout the state that were previously permitted to remain open.

To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the firm website.

UK Construction & Engineering: Lean Thinking Re-Visited

Lean Thinking as a concept has its roots in Toyota’s production system. One of the primary tenets of this concept is to aim to perfect process, as continuous improvements address root causes of quality issues, and the elimination of waste.

The construction industry, on the other hand, has long been criticised for being wasteful, and failing over the decades to deliver good value. Furthermore, it has a reputation for being an adversarial industry with significant disputes. There have been countless reports over the decades attempting to work out how these ills can be addressed.

To read the full text of this blog post by Duane Morris attorney Vijay Bange, please visit the Duane Morris London Blog.

New York Forward Plan Reopens Construction in Phase One

On May 15, 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Orders 202.6 and 202.8, which stopped all nonessential work in New York, will expire. New York will then shift to “New York Forward,” the state’s plan to reopen nonessential businesses and return people to work, without triggering renewed spread of COVID-19 or overwhelming the healthcare system.

To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the firm website.

Considerations of UK Construction Remobilisation, Part 2

Last week we discussed, in light of the encouragement from Robert Jenrick MP (Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government) for the construction industry to remobilise, the government’s apparent reluctance to provide confidence and clarity for the construction industry in respect of the safe operation of sites.

In the Prime Minister’s address to the nation on 10 May 2020, he re-stated that encouragement for the construction industry, where possible, to return to work.

To read the full text of this post by Duane Morris attorneys Steve Nichol and Matthew Friedlander, please visit the Duane Morris London Blog.

Considerations of UK Construction Remobilisation

The construction industry in the UK has been afforded the freedom to continue work where it is safe to do so since the lockdown was implemented. It is a freedom that the sector has done its best to exploit where it can, with significant works continuing on a variety of essential and less essential projects. A number of leading construction companies and housebuilders have continued or recommenced work where they are able to do so, and a number of high profile projects are apparently progressing well. Build UK has reported that its members, who comprise some of the largest contractors operating in the UK, are now working on 73% of sites (up from 69% last week). However, the issues for the industry facing the prospect of full remobilisation to all sites have not changed.

To read the full text of this post by Steve Nichol and Matthew Friedlander, please visit the Duane Morris London Blog.