In spite of the largely sunny weather a perfect storm is currently brewing across the United Kingdom which seems likely to give rise to a fresh wave of litigation within the construction sector.
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The recent report that Construction activity in the UK has hit a seven-year high was welcome news to an industry hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the increase in demand, combined with Brexit related delays has led to a materials shortage and a surge in prices for essential materials, with timber, steel and cement amongst the key materials affected.
One of the most common types of legal dispute that can arise is where people engage a builder directly to build them a house. The complexities, costs and potential for things to go badly wrong mean that it’s fertile ground for disputes. The conversation often starts a little like this: "I have fallen out with my builder but I don’t have a contract."
Many in the construction sector are waiting with baited breath for a key judgment to be issued by the UK Supreme Court following its hearing at the end of 2020. The case is that of Triple Point Technology Inc v PTT Public Company Ltd. The judgment will consider the decision of Sir Rupert Jackson in the English Court of Appeal.
The launch of a brand new suite of contract documentation for FM agreements from NEC is therefore most welcome; particularly for public sector projects where users have become accustomed to NEC's underlying principles and partnering approach.