Supreme Court Appeal in the case of URS Corporation Ltd v BDW Trading Ltd [2023] EWCA Civ 772 to be heard in December 2024

11th Mar 2024

URS has been granted permission by the Supreme Court to appeal the decision of the Court of Appeal in URS Corporation Ltd v BDW Trading Ltd [2023] EWCA Civ 772. The Supreme Court appeal will be heard on 2-5 December 2024 by a panel of 7 justices.

The appeal will consider a number of points of significance for those in construction, real estate and insurance industries arising out of the new Building Safety Act, together with fundamental questions relating to the law of negligence, scope of duty and economic loss which will be of interest to the legal community more generally.

The Court of Appeal decision was widely reported on in both the legal and construction press and featured in a number of year end ‘wrap ups’ as one of the key cases of 2023.

In appealing the Court of Appeal’s decision, the Supreme Court will be asked to consider:

1. The scope of an engineer’s common law duty of care to a developer and the extent to which Pirelli remains good law.
2. The scope of a construction professional’s duty to a developer under s1(1) Defective Premises Act 1972
3. The meaning and effect of s.135 Building Safety Act 2022 (which seeks to give retrospective effect to the 30 year limitation period for DPA claims introduced by that Act)
4. The meaning and effect of the Civil Liability (Contribution) Act 1978

The appeal will be the first occasion on which the Supreme Court will consider the Defective Premises Act and the Building Safety Act. It is likely to be instrumental in shaping the answer to questions as to which of those parties with historic involvement in the construction and development of high rise residential premises should bear the legal responsibility for the costs of rectifying recently discovered defects in those premises.

The parties’ legal teams are:

AECOM’s legal team:
CMS – Steven Williams; Catherine Gelder; Leah Horn; Karen Arch and Jessica Scott
Counsel: Laurence Rabinowitz KC and Fiona Parkin KC (One Essex Court, Atkin Chambers) and Ronan Hanna and James Ruddell (Atkin Chambers, One Essex Court) and Professor James Goudkamp (University of Oxford).

Barratt’s legal team:
Osborne Clarke
Counsel: Mark Howard KC and Simon Hargreaves KC (Brick Court and Keating Chambers) and David Sheard – (Keating Chambers)

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