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Building Law Reports – Part 8 [2021] now published

19th Oct 2021

Part 8 of the Building Law Reports covers the following key judgments:

Introduction to the Building Law Reports Part 8 [2021]

In this issue we report one decision of the Supreme Court and four decisions of the TCC. Two of those relate to the interesting situation where the court is asked to extend time for service of a claim form, alternatively grant relief, where that claim form has not been validly served within the limitation period. The other two are a further attempt in one case for a claimant to amend its claim, and a decision on section 9 of the Arbitration Act.

In Triple Point v PTT [2021] UKSC 29 the Supreme Court overturned the Court of Appeal decision on two of the three grounds of appeal, the Court of Appeal having overturned certain findings by Jefford J. This concerned recovery of liquidated damages both before, and after, the date of termination of a contract. It also concerned the meaning of “negligence” in a contractual term. The Supreme Court preferred the analysis of Jefford J, describing the decision of the Court of Appeal at paragraph 42 as having been a “radical reinterpretation of the case law on liquidated damages”.

In Standard Life v Gleeds (UK) [2021] EWHC 2081 (TCC) Fraser J heard an application for permission to amend by the Claimant, a judgment having been given by Kerr J in an earlier round of the litigation dealing with an attack on the Particulars of Claim and detailed supporting schedules by three of the defendants (called the Part B defendants). We reported that decision by Kerr J, and he made a detailed order setting out what the claimant had to do by way of pleading its quantum case against each of them. Although Fraser J permitted some amendments that were opposed, in respect of the existing order he refused to allow the claimant to depart from the terms of the order, or to plead by reference to “expert evidence” which was said to be available “in due course”.

Good Law Project v Secretary of State for Health and Social Care [2021] EWHC 1782 (TCC), a decision by O’Farrell J, and LSREF 3 Tiger Falkirk v Paragon [2021] EWHC 2063 (TCC), another decision by Fraser J, both go together in a sense. They both concern purported service by email of claim forms and consequential applications by claimants seeking either to extend time for service of claim form, cure defective service or obtain relief from sanctions under CPR Part 6.15, Part 6.16 and Part 3.10. In both cases the two judges refused to grant the relief sought, as in each case the defendant would suffer the substantial prejudice of losing the accrued limitation defence it had acquired as a result of mistakes by the claimants’ solicitors.

Finally, we report Surrey County Council v Suez Recycling [2021] EWHC 2015 (TCC), a decision of Alex Nissen QC sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge. This was an application for a stay under section 9 Arbitration Act 1996 and the inherent jurisdiction of the court. The learned deputy judge granted the application for a stay under the Act based on the proper construction of the agreement between the parties. He did not therefore need to deal with whether to grant a stay under the inherent jurisdiction of the court.

About the Building Law Reports

Edited by members and former members of Atkin Chambers, the Building Law Reports are essential reading for legal professionals, construction industry professionals, law libraries and universities. Each report provides expert commentary on key judgments from the editors, including the substance of a case and its implications on past and future decisions.

Described as “the most established and authoritative construction law reports available”, they provide comprehensive coverage from the Technology and Construction Court, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and other relevant jurisdictions worldwide, including Hong Kong, Australia and Singapore.

Consulting Editor: The Honourable Mr Justice Fraser

General Editors: Sir Robert AkenheadDominique Rawley QCMarc Lixenberg, Omar Eljadi, David Johnson, and Felicity Dynes.

The Building Law Reports are published by Informa.