The following Construction practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
All the standard forms of building contract make specific provision for the liabilities which are at the contractor or employer's risk and which party is to insure those risks. See, for example, Practice Notes: JCT contracts—insurance, NEC contracts—insurance, FIDIC contracts (pre-2017 editions)—insurance and FIDIC contracts 2017—insurance.
However, if the building contract is oral, or if the written terms are silent, then the common-law provisions will prevail.
The contractor's liabilities are:
liability in tort to third parties for injury, death or damage to property caused by the contractor's negligence (see Practice Note: Negligence in construction), and
liability to the employer in respect of damage to the works caused by the contractor’s own negligence or for breach of contract (see: Contract law for construction lawyers—overview)
The contractor is not liable to the employer if the works are damaged by any cause other than the contractor’s own negligence or breach of contract. For example, damage caused by fire, flood, theft, etc or damage that was an inevitable result of carrying out the work, would not be at the contractor’s risk.
The contractor's liability for damage to property was limited following the decisions in D and F Estates and Murphy v Brentwood.
The contractor may purport to limit
Free trials are only available to individuals based in the UK
Complete all the fields above to proceed to the next step.
**Trials are provided to all LexisPSL and LexisLibrary content, excluding Practice Compliance, Practice Management and Risk and Compliance, subscription packages are tailored to your specific needs. To discuss trialling these LexisPSL services please email customer service via our online form. Free trials are only available to individuals based in the UK. We may terminate this trial at any time or decide not to give a trial, for any reason. Trial includes one question to LexisAsk during the length of the trial.
To view the latest version of this document and thousands of others like it, sign-in to LexisPSL or register for a free trial.
Existing user? Sign-in
Commercial Property Standard Enquiries (CPSEs) are industry standard pre-contract enquiries used in commercial property transactions. CPSEs are endorsed by the British Property Federation and are free to use. The CPSEs include specific environmental enquiries at enquiry 15 and there are several
Parent company guarantees (PCGs) in constructionIn the construction industry, parent company guarantees (PCGs) are commonly given to the employer by the main contractor’s holding company to guarantee the performance of the contract by the subsidiary main contractor. This is a requirement in almost
Summary assessment—statement of costsSummary assessment is the procedure whereby costs are assessed by the judge who has heard the case or application (see Practice Note: Summary assessment). This Practice Note considers the use of a statement of costs in summary assessment. Form N260 is a model
Subrogation in insurance and reinsuranceWhat is the right of subrogation?In the context of insurance and reinsurance, the right of subrogation entitles an insurer or reinsurer, having indemnified the (re)insured, to ‘step into its shoes’ to bring an action in the (re)insured’s name. For the purpose
0330 161 1234