CPD Hours Level
Conference expert panelInformation 6 UpdateInformation
SRA Competency B


From a review of important new case law on design liability and payment through to an analysis of recent developments in delay and disruption disputes, this annual conference, chaired by Kim Franklin QC, examines a wide range of topical developments in construction law.

It represents an ideal opportunity for the busy practitioner to keep fully up to date with all the hot topics.

9.30am - 10.15am: New Cases on Design Liability

Ben Mellors, HFW

This session examines recent case law on design liability and explains their practical implications.

The topics to be covered include:

  • Contract interpretation where the contract refers to contradictory standards
  • Specifications which do not achieve contractual standards (e.g. 20 year design life)
  • Obligation on contractor to vary the works to achieve design standard
  • Does the contractor or employer make the assessment of whether works are ‘fit for purpose’?
  • Liability for the costs of over engineering the design
  • Hojgaard v E.ON, Fluor v ZPMC and MWHT v Haase

10.15am - 11.00am: Payment

Mark Clinton, Irwin Mitchell

This session will review the most important latest developments in this highly topical and vital area of construction law.

It will include:

  • Payment notices and pay less notices - key lessons from the case law
  • Loss and expense claims - the latest case law
  • Insolvency proceedings - uses and abuses
  • Cash retentions - update on consultation and the Bill
  • Update on Construction Act consultation

11.15am - 12.00pm: Developments in Delay and Disruption Disputes

Paul Cowan, 4 New Square

Ever-present issues on construction projects and in disputes, recent years have seen a number of interesting developments in law and practice on delay and disruption issues.

This session will cover:

  • Delay liability and extensions of time after Carillion v EMCOR
  • Delay analysis - prospective or retrospective?
  • Allocating risk for concurrent delay, North Midland Building v Cyden
  • Delay risk from planning issues - Clin v Walter Lilly
  • Modelling disruption with ‘dynamic simulation’

12.00pm - 12.45pm: Strictly Come Drafting

Rupert Choat, Atkin Chambers

The courts are showing stronger support for enforcing the words used by parties in their contracts and artificial rules of interpretation which were developed to address the worst excesses of freedom of contract are losing favour.

As a result, parties must draft and contract with greater care than before. This session will cover:

  • Complex contracts and the not so ‘slender thread’
  • The ‘contra proferentem rule’
  • The Canada Steamship rule
  • Time bar and conclusive evidence provisions
  • Excluding or limiting liability for ‘indirect’ and ‘consequential’ loss

12.45pm - 1.00pm: Questions on Morning Session

2.00pm - 2.50pm: Termination of Construction Contracts

Mark Clinton, Irwin Mitchell

This session will examine termination under contract and common law, how important it is to get it right and what happens if things go wrong.

Amongst the key issues to be covered are:

  • Under contracts - how important are the procedural niceties
  • Grounds under main standard forms considered
  • Termination at common law - legal principles and practicalities
  • Consequences of getting it wrong

2.50pm - 3.40pm: Fast, Effective and Stress-free Adjudication: Top Tips from a Construction Adjudicator

Chair: Kim Franklin QC, Crown Office Chambers

Adjudication is the go-to construction dispute resolution procedure for an industry which has come to expect fast and favourable results. But it doesn’t always go to plan and recent cases from the TCC have highlighted the pitfalls inherent in a process which requires complex disputes to be resolved in short order.

In this session a leading construction adjudicator will discuss how the process can be managed to achieve optimum results.

  • To get the best from your adjudicator
  • To spot objective bias
  • To avoid unnecessary conflict
  • To manage the evidential process - including experts
  • To get the best results in the light of recent TCC decisions Beumer v Vinci and Grove Developments

3.55pm - 4.45pm: Closing Address: Construction Arbitrations

Virginie Colaiuta, LMS Legal LLP

International construction projects almost inevitably provide for a multi-tier dispute resolution clause, with final determination of disputes by international arbitration.

In this session we cover:

  • The most common forms of international arbitration used on international construction projects
  • Typical issues arising in construction arbitrations
  • The interface between arbitrations and the local courts
  • Enforcement and challenge of arbitration awards

4.45pm - Close: Questions & Answers

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