Welcome to this, our February newsletter. As you may be aware, we have some important news: Jon Close will be leaving BPE in March. We are sorry to see him go, thank him for his contribution over the years and wish him all the best for the future. We are in the process of recruiting Jon's replacement and look forward to introducing him or her to you in due course. We are taking our time and as you will see, there is no rush. In the meantime, Anna Wood will be Acting Team Leader and together with Neil, Gemma, Katie, Annie (and Emilie, when she returns from Maternity Leave), will continue to work hard to deliver the high standards of service our clients are used to. As the round up below shows, we remain ready, willing and able to take on new instructions - both contentious and non-contentious!
Since we last wrote:
- Neil has had an extremely good run of bringing about settlements for clients in a number of complex disputes
- Anna and Gemma continue to be busy assisting contractor clients with improving their subcontracts
- Anna has been providing a quasi-public sector client with urgent tender assistance while they procure fit-out works for their head office
- Anna achieved a “slam dunk” for her client enforcing an adjudicator’s award (including obtaining an Order for costs on an indemnity basis in the face of opposition from one of the country’s leading construction specialist solicitors practices)
- Katie continues to be extremely busy with fit-out contracts for the leisure sector
- In addition to the above we have dealt with new inquiries relating to various high-end residential development projects; termination of contracts; another final account dispute; and assisting a defendant where the claimant had overlooked compliance with the Pre-Action Protocol.
In the UK construction industry:
- Whilst BPE’s construction clients are busy, we received the worrying news that growth in the construction industry has slowed, although industry representatives hope to avoid a knock-on effect on recruitment.
- Unions (including UCATT) have expressed their displeasure at the use of “umbrella” companies to avoid pension obligations for certain construction workers. Should there be any ruling on this issue, our Employment Team will report on it for you.
- The results of AECOM’s 2015 London Contractor’s Survey showed an estimated 10% increase in the rate of construction inflation, with the blame mainly put down to a lack of skilled labour. Anna Wood considers this further in her blog.
- Last week was Tinnitus Awareness Week in the UK – now may be a good time to review your H&S policies!
Finally, please see details of our latest Construction Seminar with Hill International.
This month's articles: