Russell & Anor v Stone (t/a PSP Consultants) & Ors [2017] EWHC 1555 (TCC)

29th Jun 2017

The defendant project managers sought an order striking out, or alternatively seeking summary judgment in respect of, part of a claim brought against them by the claimant employers. The claimants are seeking almost £2.2 million in damages against the defendants arising out of a project to demolish the claimant’s existing house and build a modern house in its stead in Highgate, North London. Work took place between 2010 and 2016, involved three successive contractors, and was “dogged by difficulty”.

The decision deals with the attempt by the defendants to strike out three of the claims (worth about £1m) on the grounds that they were statute-barred. In addition to arguments as to when the relevant causes of action actually accrued, there were other significant issues between the parties many concerning three ‘Standstill Agreements’ entered into between November 2015 and April 2016. Those agreements were based on the PLC template, amended to suit the purposes of the parties.  The dispute around the agreements centred on whether they suspended or extended time: if they suspended time then proceedings were issued before the expiry of the relevant limitation periods; if not, then proceedings were time barred.

Coulson J concluded that the Standstill Agreements had suspensory effect such that the claims were not statute-barred and the matter could proceed to trial.

(Instructed by Elborne Mitchell LLP)

Related barristers: Jennifer Jones

To view the full judgment please click here.

29 June 2017

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