UK Construction – Cybercrime is the Invisible Enemy

Cyber fraud is a real and present danger across almost all industry sectors, and the construction sector is not immune as our recent article demonstrated. According to the FCA there has been a jump of 52% in incident reports and recent global conflict may possibly increase this threat.

One of the primary types of fraud affecting the construction industry is the prevalence of payment diversion fraud. It is estimated that contractors pay out around £100m per year in fake invoices. In some cases, a single instance of payment diversion fraud can amount to millions of pounds. In such cases it is easy to see how the fraud would place intolerable pressure on the cash flow of a business and in extreme instances even lead to insolvency. In an industry already under pressure through factors such as super-inflation and rising energy costs, fraud is yet another unwelcome factor which can be detrimental to cash flow on a project.

To read the full text of this post by Matthew FriedlanderChris Recker and Sam Laycock, please visit the Duane Morris London Blog.

UK: Construction Supply Chains Struggle Under Pressure

In the construction sector solid cash flow throughout the supply chain is the lifeblood of most projects, no matter what size, and is arguably the single most important factor in ensuring that a project reaches its conclusion. However, the cumulative effect of various other factors such as Brexit, escalating global energy prices, the outlawing from 1 April 2022 of the use of the red diesel usage for construction plant, super inflation, higher material and labour costs and the end of government COVID-19 support schemes has led to increased lending costs and smaller profit margins.  As such, the construction supply chain is likely to come under ever increasing pressure in 2022.

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

Limitations on the Use of Red Diesel for the Construction and Engineering Sectors in the UK

Glasgow and COP26 resulted in various commitments from global economies to work towards targets in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The UK is to target the reduction of greenhouse emissions to net zero by 2050.

However, even prior to COP26 there were already legislative changes afoot to have cleaner air. The Finance Bill 2021, and the associated secondary legislation, as part of the government’s plans to reduce carbon emissions, has the effect of restricting the usage of red diesel after April 2022.

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

The Ongoing Fallout from the Achmea Decision

In the Achmea case the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) held that Article 8 of the Netherlands – Slovakia bilateral investment treaty, which allowed for the resolution of disputes by way of arbitration, was incompatible with EU law. The rationale for the decision was that a tribunal may have to interpret or apply EU law and where a question of law arose, unlike a Member State court, that question of law could not be referred to the ECJ. In other words, intra-EU bilateral investment treaty arbitration provisions, as reasoned by the ECJ, deprived the EU courts of jurisdiction in respect of the interpretation of EU law.

We raised the prospect that the ramifications from the decision were potentially far reaching and were not, it seemed, confined to the BIT between Netherlands and Slovakia.

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

Is It Necessity or Choice to Use Technology in Arbitration?

The global pandemic continues to challenge us, with various measures ranging from further lockdowns to restrictions on in-person meetings. The judicial machinery, including that in the arbitration world, has continued to function throughout the pandemic notwithstanding the difficulties of embracing innovative processes and new technology.

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

Is This the End of Intra-EU BIT Arbitrations?

The impact and uncertainty caused by the Achmea case on investor state dispute settlement provisions contained in intra-EU Bilateral Investment Treaties continues. These issues are potentially far reaching and may extend further than originally envisaged, namely that this case was arguably specific to the BIT between Netherlands and Slovakia.

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

Are We Ready for the Net-zero Age in the Decarbonization of the UK Construction Sector?

It’s probably too early to deliberate whether COP 26 was a success, and if progress has been made since Paris. Glasgow will be remembered for the passionate speech from the Maldives representative, which reminded us (if ever we needed reminding) of the Armageddon-esque effects of climate change to the planet as a whole, and to small island nations in particular. The target remains to aim for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and to keep global warming close to 1.5 degrees.

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

UK: Public Consultation and Duty to Protect

Last week marked 20 years of the horrific terror attacks on the Twin Towers in New York. 2017 saw the atrocious attacks at the Manchester Arena, and subsequently Fishmongers’ Hall in London, and sadly there were others. Global events may create yet further security uncertainty and risks from potential terror attacks.

In February this year James Brokenshire, the Security Minister, reiterated the government’s commitment to improving public security, and to action the findings and lessons learned from the ensuing inquiries. The Home Office has commenced a public consultation on the use of a ‘Protect Duty’. In short this will require businesses, public bodies and security firms to consider risks of a terrorist attack and to ensure proportionate and reasonable measures are taken to protect the public.

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

UK: Disputes in the Construction, Engineering and Energy Sectors

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.

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

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The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the author and are not to be construed as legal advice.

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