In July we wrote about the key changes included in the JCT Minor Works 2016 contract.  The JCT has now released the new design and build contract. As with the Minor Works edition, changes have been made to the payment provisions in an attempt to simplify a procedure which was seen by some as overly complicated. The payment procedures are now consolidated into one section rather than being spread throughout the contract. Interim Valuation Dates apply (determined by reference to the Contract Particulars), and there is no longer anything to distinguish interim payments due before and after practical completion. The period between certificates is monthly, regardless of whether practical completion … Continue reading JCT Design and Build Contract 2016

The Technology and Construction Court recently clarified what has been a somewhat contentious issue: whether the principle in ISG v Seevic, that a party who fails to give a valid payment or payless notice is deemed to agree the contractor’s valuation for the purposes of that interim payment, applies to final account payments. In the first adjudication between Kilker Projects Limited (KPL) and Purton, Purton claimed that it was entitled to full payment of its final account application by reason of KPL’s failure to serve a valid payment or pay less notice, as required by the Construction Act and the Scheme (the terms of which applied to the parties’ oral … Continue reading Paying party entitled to refer final account valuation to adjudicator despite no valid notice

Ben Worthington has given a webinar on the thorny issue of payment in UK construction contracts, covering important case law and the provisions of the amended Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996, as well as valuable tips. You can view the 30-minute webinar below. It’s Olswang’s first construction webinar so you have any queries or feedback, please tweet us at @fkyh or @disputes_lawyer!

The Court of Appeal recently considered the issue of whether an anti-oral variation clause prevented the oral variation of a written agreement. The Court’s decision may surprise some. It is fairly common for written contracts to include a term that any variation of the contract must be in writing. There are good reasons to include such provisions, namely to promote certainty and control. Parties do no want to be met with claims that a discussion resulted in some variation of their agreement. Businesses may also be concerned about their employees entering into oral agreements which are binding upon the organisation, but which it knew nothing about. The case of MWB … Continue reading Mind what you say

It has been a decade since the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 (HGCRA) was enacted in the United Kingdom (Northern Ireland was covered by the Construction Contracts (Northern Ireland) Order 1997, as amended). Drafted with the intention of increasing cash flow and addressing the high rates of insolvency in the industry, there can be no doubt that the HGCRA’s dual innovations of compulsory payment terms and an automatic right to refer a dispute to adjudication has had a (generally) positive impact on the industry’s culture. In particular, like it or loath it, the right to refer any dispute to adjudication has changed the industry landscape, providing access to … Continue reading Statutory adjudication in the Republic of Ireland

You may recall that Francis Ho, who co-authored the suite, wrote about the launch of the Chartered Institute of Building’s (CIOB) new Time and Cost Management Contract 2015. I attended the launch evening recently, where we were given an overview of the contract and provided with copies of the Contract Conditions, Contract Appendices and Contract Agreement. It’s a modular form of contract and the full suite of documents is now available for use and reference versions can be downloaded from the CIOB’s website free of charge. The website also includes copies of the Sub-Contract Agreement, Conditions and Appendices; the Consultancy Agreement; and Schedules 8 and 9, the appointments of the Time … Continue reading The Time and Cost Management Contract 2015

As someone who inevitably ends up chasing others for the physical return of hard copy signed documents, anything which can make the execution process more convenient for signatories, has to be welcomed as far as I’m concerned. With the new Electronic Identification and Signature Regulation (eIDAS Regulation) now effective, as of 1 July 2016, and with improvements in electronic signature applications such as DocuSign and Adobe Sign (formerly EchoSign) making e-signature more practical, it’s worth a quick reminder of where the UK currently stands regarding e-signatures. The eIDAS Regulation is intended to standardise provisions for electronic signatures across the EU, and it applies directly across all EU member states without … Continue reading E-Signatures – Can I sign electronically?

The next few months see the roll-out of the next major update of the popular standard form construction contracts produced by the Joint Contracts Tribunal. The various contracts are being launched in stages. First out of the box is the JCT’s Minor Works “family”. This includes the Minor Works Building Contract 2016 and the Minor Works Building Contract with contractor’s design 2016. As their names suggest, the difference between these forms is whether or not the contractor is responsible for any design of the project. While the JCT doesn’t break out sales figures, anecdotal evidence suggests the Minor Works forms comprise the publisher’s bestselling commercial contracts. Rounding off the group … Continue reading What’s new in the JCT Minor Works Building Contract 2016?

In an historic referendum on 23 June 2016, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. I’ve written a blog for Practical Law on how the EU Referendum result will affect existing and future construction contracts, as well as the potential impact of the UK eventually leaving the EU. My blog can be found here: http://constructionblog.practicallaw.com/brexit-strategy-the-eu-referendum-and-construction-contracts If you have any queries on what Brexit means for construction, please contact me or any other member of Olswang’s Construction Team.

Collateral warranties exist because the courts ruled that third parties could no longer recover economic losses through the tort of negligence. That left developers of real estate projects with a sudden difficulty. Funders, tenants and buyers rely on the construction team’s performance. The disappearance of tortious liability meant that rights had to be secured somehow else. The most practical solution was to create contractual duties of care. However, that brought privity of contract to the fore. This doctrine holds only the parties to a contract can enjoy and enforce rights under it. Developers could, however, circumvent privity by obliging construction parties to enter into separate agreements with the beneficiaries. Soon … Continue reading Collateral Warranties or Third Party Rights – What Should We Use?

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