UK Construction and Brexit

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.

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

Another Lockdown in the UK

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.

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

 

The Curious Case of ABC v. Network Rail: Wasn’t It Obvious?

At first glance, the Court of Appeal’s recent decision in ABC Electrification Ltd v Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd [2020] 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.

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

Climate Change and Construction Revisited

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.

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

Follow The Money

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.

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

How We Won a $7.9 Million Arbitration Award: Construction Litigator Talks Shop

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.

Failure to Participate in Final Arbitration Hearing Because of Inability to Find QC

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.

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

Michigan Supreme Court Opens Door to CGL Claims for Construction Defects

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”

Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Holds Literal Interpretation of ‘Within 90 Days’ Under the Miller Act

An appeals decision by the Seventh Circuit underscores the importance of strict adherence to the requirements of the Miller Act. A&C Construction & Installation, Co. WLL v. Zurich American Insurance Company and The Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania, decided June 30, 2020, concerns a Miller Act claim on a payment bond by a subcontractor on a federal construction project.

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

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.