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Construction Update – December 2009

Welcome to the Clarke Willmott LLP Construction December 2009 Update.

Season’s Greetings from the Construction team.

We hope you find this to be an interesting mix of articles concerning issues affecting the construction industry (be that the forthcoming Construction Act changes, case update, performance bonds or “greening” of contracts).

Our update reflects the challenges and opportunities that businesses face in the current climate.

We shall this year be thinking of those less fortunate than ourselves and rather than sending out cards shall be making a charity donation to Refuge Nepal. We have also thoroughly enjoyed collecting presents and working with the Under Privileged Children’s Charity, delivering some Christmas cheer with over 100 presents to children in Bristol.

If you require further information on issues in this Update or any other construction issue please do not hesitate to contact us.

Construction act changes – early heads up

Part II of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 (the Construction Act) is about to change. Part 8 of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill provides for amendments to the Construction Act and has received its third reading in the House of Commons.

Case update – withholding notices (still a hot topic)

Withholding notices remain in the spotlight – even under the present provisions of the current Construction Act. If the light of litigation was shone on your withholding notice would it withstand scrutiny?

Performance bonds – not all are created equal

As no doubt you are aware, a performance bond is a promise (in the form of a deed) where the bondsman promises to pay another person (usually the employer) a sum of money (often damages sustained by the employer) as a result of a proven default on the part of the contractor.

Back to basics – the greening of jct contracts

Two facts mean that the Joint Contracts Tribunal (who publish the most commonly used suite of standard construction contracts) have been under pressure to amend their contracts to embrace sustainability: over half of all CO2 comes from the built environment, and over 70% of all building contracts are JCT contracts.