Whose plant is it anyway? (2016) 27 10 Cons.Law 29 [Archived]
Whose plant is it anyway? (2016) 27 10 Cons.Law 29 [Archived]

The following Construction guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Whose plant is it anyway? (2016) 27 10 Cons.Law 29 [Archived]
  • Object and form
  • Sale v supply
  • Retention of title in construction contracts
  • The standard form contracts: a comparison between the JCT, IChem and FIDIC contracts

ARCHIVED: This Practice Note has been archived and is not maintained.

This article appears as originally published in Construction Law on 5 December 2016 and is not maintained.

Inconsistent provisions in contracts frequently bedevil the question of who owns goods like construction plant on site. Catherine Piercy and Aileen McErlean of Hardwicke Chambers urge close attention along the supply chain to who actually has title.


  1. Identify any retention of title clauses and determine their meaning and effect

  2. Consider the whole contractual chain between those asserting ownership and to determine whether the contracts fall within the SGA or the SGSA

  3. Determine whether title has passed in the goods in question or whether there is only an entitlement to use such goods to, for example, complete the works

  4. Decide whether the power to sell goods amounts to a floating charge which required registration to be enforceable

In an uncertain economic climate, contracting parties may be well served by dusting off their contracts and reviewing when title in goods which are supplied or sold passes to the buyer. In large scale construction projects, it is not uncommon for inconsistent provisions to exist down the contractual chain, such that one party is purporting to pass better title to goods than it in fact has as a result of a retention of title clause.

This article considers