02 July 2019






Construction News Summer 2019








Recognising practical completion when you see it



A recent case, Mears Limited v Costplan Services (South East) Ltd, illustrated the difficulty of defining practical completion. Although the case does provide some clarification in relation to practical completion, it nevertheless emphasises the fact that, despite it being a familiar term, it is easier to recognise than legally define. Continue reading...




Adjudication, jurisdiction and injunctions



A recent case highlighted the courts’ aversion to interfering in an ongoing adjudication when one party believes the adjudicator does not have jurisdiction, leaving that party normally with no option other than to participate in the adjudication,  incurring its associated (and irrecoverable) costs. The court’s decision means that concerns over the adjudicator’s jurisdiction can only be raised with the courts at enforcement stage at which point considerable costs have already been racked up. Continue reading...




Referring disputes to adjudication



When an employer sought to enforce an adjudicator’s decision through the courts in relation to the final account with its building contractor, the latter’s argument that the adjudicator did not have jurisdiction because there had been no entitlement to payment at the relevant time, failed to win the day. This was partly because the contractor's very lengthy response to the adjudicator elicited an equally lengthy reply from the employer, with the result that the  contractor essentially left itself with very limited time to respond. Continue reading...




The future of 'smash and grab' adjudications



In our spring bulletin, we reported on smash and grab adjudications in light of the Court of Appeal’s decision in S&T (UK) Ltd v Grove Developments Ltd. In that case the Court of Appeal upheld the trial judge’s decision that the losing party in a smash and grab adjudication can commence its own “true” value adjudication in respect of the interim application that was the subject of the smash and grab adjudication, providing it has first paid the sum awarded in the first adjudication.

However, the Supreme Court has now given permission to appeal against that Court of Appeal decision. We will update readers on the Supreme Court’s decision in due course. At the time of going to press, the date on which the further (and final) appeal will be heard is not known.










Philip Harris

01926 880765





Michael Hiscock

01926 880739



Paul Slinger

01926 883049





Stuart Thwaites

Legal Director
01926 884690



Sandra Piaskowska

01926 884673


Employment & HR update

Our latest employment & HR update covers the introduction of 'off-payroll working' rules (IR35) to the private sector from January 2020; the Home Office announcement that they will be auditing relevant businesses in connection with Modern Slavery  legislation; the National Insurance Contributions Bill; and how to respond to Subject Access Requests (SAR). Continue reading...