Construction law in 2018—the year so far

Construction law in 2018—the year so far
We look back at some of the key developments that occurred in the world of construction law and practice in the first half of 2018, highlighting important cases, legislation and other industry developments.

 

First published on LexisPSL Construction. Click here for a free trial.

Key Cases

Grove v S&T

Grove v S&T represented a significant change to the law around payment-related notices under the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 (HGCRA 1996). In that case, the Technology and Construction Court (TCC) held that an employer was able to challenge, by way of further adjudication, the amount due to a contractor in respect of an interim application, by reference to the true value of the works—even if the employer had not given a valid payment or pay less notice.

In the court’s view, this conclusion was supported by first principles and Court of Appeal authorities, and the court described the earlier decisions of ISG v Seevic and Galliford Try v Estura as ‘erroneous and/or incomplete’. See News Analyses: Failure to give a payment or pay less notice—a change of approach (Grove Developments v S&T) and Uncertainties after Grove v S&T.

 

Grove v S&T has since been cited by the Chancery Division in Re A Company (No 008654 of 2017), and most recently by the TCC in ICI v Merit Merrell (see News Analyses: Court strikes out winding-up petition, in light of true value of the works (Re A Company (No 008654 of 2017)) and Court assesses quantum following repudiatory breach of contract (ICI v Merit Merrell)). Note that an appeal of Grove v S&T is currently due to be heard in the Court of Appeal on 9 or 10 October 2018.

Rock Advertising v MWB

The Supreme Court’s decision in Rock Advertising v MWB concerning no oral modification clauses (sometimes referred to as no oral variation clauses) is worth construction practitioners taking note of. In that case, the court held that payments under a licence agreement containing such a clause could not be varied by oral

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About the author:

Jon is a Professional Support Lawyer at LexisNexis, specialising in construction law.

Jon trained at Hogan Lovells and qualified into the construction disputes team there in 2011. He joined LexisNexis in February 2016. Jon has experience of acting for various parties (including employers, main contractors, subcontractors and project managers) in relation to disputes arising out of construction and engineering projects in various jurisdictions. Jon has acted for clients in TCC litigation, arbitration, adjudication and mediation as well as providing advice on various aspects of construction and engineering projects.