Recently a paper was published in Construction Law, “The root cause of evil!” Construction Law, August 2021. An analysis was undertaken of HKA’s integrated research program that collects data on global claims/ disputes across 88 countries. An examination was undertaken of trends emerging across the UK, Middle East, US, Caribbean and Latin America.
The decision in Multiplex Construction Europe Ltd v Bathgate Realisation Civil Engineering Ltd and Others is one of the more curious decisions you will ever read.
However, the density and depth of the judgment does not mean it is without interest; far from it. In fact I suspect this case will prove to be one of the more fascinating legal tangles the Courts will be asked to unravel this year.
Large infrastructure projects are often subject to intricate contractual relationships between the relevant stakeholders, and this will also include collateral warranties to cover any potential gaps in liability to mitigate potential effects of one of the participants in the contractual matrix becoming insolvent. Parties lower down the contractual chain may engage their own designers or consultants to discharge their obligations up the contractual chain. An interesting scenario arose in the recent case Multiplex Construction Europe Ltd v Bathgate Realisations Civil Engineering Ltd (Formerly Dunne building & Civil Engineering Ltd (In administration) (2) BRM Construction LLC (3) Argo Global Syndicate 1200 (2021) , and the two issues that were heard by way of preliminary issue.
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.
As of March 17, Boston halted all construction jobs in the city for two weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This decision has affected approximately 21.4 million square feet of new or renovated development across 97 projects. Other municipalities have implemented travel restrictions and shelter-in-place orders requiring individuals to stay at home except as necessary to provide certain essential business and government services. These domestic actions, coupled with tighter border controls and quarantines at the international level, will inevitably result in supply chain disruption and labor force shortages.
As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the country, it will impact project performance. There are some important contract considerations that parties should keep in mind as they evaluate their response to project delays and closures, safety concerns, and vendor and workforce unavailability.
To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the firm website.
Charles Lewis and Jeffrey Hamera have authored a chapter on USA Construction Law in the recently published book, International Comparative Legal Guide to: Construction & Engineering Law 2016.
Construction & Engineering Law covers common issues in construction and engineering laws and regulations – including making construction projects, supervising construction contracts, common issues on construction contracts and dispute resolution – in 29 jurisdictions.
The USA chapter includes the following sections: 1. Making Construction Projects; 2. Supervising Construction Contracts; 3. Common Issues on Construction Contracts; 4. Dispute Resolution.
To read the full text of the chapter online, please visit the ICLG website.
A recent decision of the Supreme Court of the State of New York reminds us of the importance of using consistent terms when drafting a construction contract. In Clinton Assoc. For A Renewed Envt. Inc. v. Monadock Constr. Inc., defendants, pursuant to a contract (the “Contract”), agreed to provide architectural services and contract administration services to plaintiffs.[i] As part of their work, defendants prepared architectural plans, including specifications for the design system and choice of materials for the exterior masonry wall system. The Certificate of Substantial Completion was signed on March 29, 2006 and, at or about that time, the masonry walls began to fail, causing the walls to bulge and take on water. It was determined that the walls could not withstand the weather cycles to which they were exposed. Following Substantial Completion of the project, defendants worked extensively to cure the flaws in the masonry walls by, among other things, creating an alternate design and supervising the corrective work until August 18, 2008, when an Architect’s Certificate approving the repairs was issued.