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Construction Law in 2019 by Mathias Cheung – published by Informa and available to download in full

15th Apr 2020

The review summarises some of the key legal and industry developments in construction law in 2019, both in the UK and abroad, with various cases building on important themes and principles which were previously covered in the 2017 and 2018 editions also written by Mathias Cheung.

“Over the years this annual review of construction law development has featured an evolving narrative which builds on familiar and recurring themes and issues, however, the continuity in the developing case law over the past few years is not by the author’s design and more through felicitous happenstance,” comments Mathias Cheung in the introduction to the review.

He continues: “In a The review, Sir Robert Akenhead observed that ‘[w]hile lawyers might be tempted to groan every time another authority is added to the mass of judicial guidance on the interpretation of provisions in a contract, decisions to consider the meaning of commonly used or well-known provisions are to be welcomed by practitioners and the industry alike’. The sentiment aptly applies to new construction law cases in general.

“This vibrant sense of organic growth in an ever-changing body of case law is part of what makes English law a focal point for anyone wishing to find a solution to a particular construction law problem both here and abroad. It is also what makes comparison of the differing approaches across various jurisdictions a particularly engaging exercise.

“In this regard, 2019 has been a very interesting year in terms of both Technology and Construction Court (TCC) and appellate decisions on construction law, and there is no shortage of materials to cover in the limited space of this article.  It is hoped that this overview of the key legal developments across different jurisdictions will be a helpful (although by no means exhaustive) point of reference to all stakeholders in the construction and infrastructure industry in the year ahead.”

Copies of Construction Law in 2019: a review of key legal and industry developments are available to download from the i-law website.



  • Smash and grab adjudications
  • Interpretation of contractual payment mechanisms
  • Construction operations/contracts under the HGCRA
  • Crystallisation of dispute under one contract
  • Construction contracts not governed by English law
  • Breach of natural justice
  • Fraud




  • Textualism versus contextualism
  • Contract/no-contract cases
  • “No oral modification”? clauses
  • Dispute resolution clauses



  • Analysis of critical delay and practical completion
  • Loss and expense claims
  • Liquidated damages


  • Hong Kong
  • Singapore
  • Middle East



See also (by Mathias Cheung):

Review of Construction Law 2017

Review of Construction Law 2018 

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