I’ll be speaking at the Chartered Institute of Building’s Masterclass at the H Hotel in Dubai on 3 and 4 November. This informative and advanced level conference tackles prominent issues in international construction law relating to bonds and insurance, and forms of construction and engineering contract commonly used in the Middle East and North Africa. Bonds, guarantees and insurances are a vital component of managing risk in any project. But they come with a host of hidden challenges and risks and issues, including in relation to calling and injunctive relief, compatibility with local law and creditworthiness. FIDIC is the most widely-used construction and engineering standard form in the Gulf Co-operation … Read more

The Complex Projects Contact (CPC) was published by the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) in 2013. This construction contract put effective time and cost management at its heart. It was also the first standard form to focus on digital communication and BIM. For a construction team to collaborate effectively and transparently its members need to share project parameters and information. This is best achieved by appointing them under contracts with a common philosophy. The CPC is shortly to be joined by a professional appointment. The CPC’s features filter down into the new “Consultancy Appointment”. BIM remains intact, as does the requirement for the parties to co-operate in mutual trust and fairness. … Read more

I recently held a seminar on contract termination and there was a good deal of discussion about a related topic; the power to omit work. Employers (or, for that matter, main contractors) may want to omit work for a variety of reasons – perhaps the price has become too high, technical requirements have changed or they have simply lost confidence in the contractor’s ability to carry out the work – but do construction contracts permit a change in scope of this kind? Contracts place an obligation upon the contractor to complete the work, but a party also has a corresponding right to complete the work it has contracted to carry … Read more

The use of net contribution clauses (NCCs) in construction contracts has long been a matter for debate. For the professional team they provide a safety net for claims where liability is split between different members of the team (without an NCC the paying party can recoup losses from other members of the team, but only where there was existing contractual liability between those members of the team and the employer). For employers, they create uncertainty surrounding potential recovery of losses and leave them vulnerable to the extent that any of the parties named in the NCC become insolvent. They create a recovery Frankenstein where claims against different parties are sewn … Read more

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007, which govern health and safety in relation to construction sites, are to be thoroughly revised next year.  The proposed replacement Regulations  are under consultation and include important changes.  Olswang welcomes your feedbackon these changes. Our aim is to produce a balanced umbrella response to the Health and Safety Executive .  For our take on the proposals go to: http://www.olswang.com/media/48157906/olswang_summary_paper_on_new_cdm_regulations_2015.pdf. We very much look forward to receiving your feedback on the proposed Regulations by 31 May 2014. Please contact me if you have any queries.

Contractors in financial difficulty may put together attractively-priced tenders in order to secure work, obtain cashflow and keep the business running. The prices tendered can be tempting to employers. A contractor with financial problems is apt to underperform. It may fail to allocate sufficient labour and more defects may result than usual. Quality can play second fiddle to cost compromises as the contractor strives to reduce business losses. The employer may receive a number of debatable claims. Most palpable is the concern that the contractor becomes insolvent before it finishes the works. This typically leads to substantial time and cost overruns. Lateness weakens profit and may cause breach obligations owed … Read more

Constructive has provided readers with vital news and opinion from Olswang’s construction and development team since 2011. I’m excited to now announce the roll-out of our first major update to our blog. The first thing you’ll notice is a fresher, more “widescreen” look and a less cluttered homepage. Look deeper and you’ll see more subtle changes at work: We’ve consolidated Article Categories and Tags (the means by which blog posts are categorised). This should make it easier for you to locate relevant content; Each blogger’s details can be found from their posts, including how to contact them for any comments or queries; Twitter functionality has been baked-in so you can catch … Read more

On Wednesday 19 March, the Olswang award-winning tax team will be discussing the changes announced by the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer in his 2014 Budget and providing expert commentary on their impact.  Despite the gathering pace of the UK economic recovery, the Chancellor has warned that there is a ‘long way to go’ and that 2014 will be ‘a year of hard truths’. With a 2015 general election looming, the Budget will be more political than most as the sitting Government coalition parties seek to set the scene for their forthcoming manifestos. It is likely to contain measures to boost housebuilding, exports and business investment.   Join the debate … Read more

On 30 May 2013, the Government introduced a new Permitted Development Rights Order (“the Order”)* The polemic surrounding the Order’s relaxation of the requirement to obtain planning permission for conversion of office space into residential housing (namely automatic rights to change use from Class B1(a) to Class C3) shows no signs of abating. Further controversy was whipped up in December 2013, which saw Camden reject plans to convert offices in Primrose Hill into luxury flats and a coalition of London Boroughs launched a judicial review in respect of the Order. At the heart of the debate is a tug of war between two laudable aims: the protection of commercial space … Read more

Almost 11 years have passed since the JCT published its innovative Major Project Form 2003, now the Major Project Construction Contract 2011 (MP). The JCT’s intent was to produce a form that reflected how its design and build contract, the Form of Building Contract 1998 Edition With Contractor’s Design – currently the Design and Build Contract 2011 (DB) – would typically look after the contract negotiations. The MP did away with the need for schedules of contract amendments. Conditions, schedules and the appendix amounted to only 40 pages. In spite of its conciseness and plain English drafting the MP has not been widely used. This is not for a shortage of higher … Read more

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