Construction claims case law

Construction projects will often take longer and cost more than expected. The work may be technically challenging from a design or a construction perspective and, in addition, works may be subject to weather conditions, unexpected physical or ground conditions and other matters that are only discovered following commencement of the works.

The relationships between developers, contractors, subcontractors and professionals can also give rise to legal complications. Each are subject to different obligations and, in practice, construction projects require careful coordination of a large number of parties. The contracts used for each relationship may be too simple or too complicated and that will give rise to different legal and factual issues.

In short, even the simplest of projects have the potential to give rise to myriads of disagreements. Construction claims by their nature are fact-sensitive, but in almost all cases the starting point will be the contractual position and what it provides in terms of the parties’ rights and liabilities. It is possible to have non-contractual claims, but their scope is generally more limited and the emphasis should be on what parties have agreed contractually in terms of their respective rights and obligations. In the UK, that will also require considering the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 as amended by the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act, which will be relevant to the majority of construction contracts.

This section provides a general summary and is not intended to be comprehensive, nor does it constitute legal advice. Specific legal advice should always be sought before taking or refraining from taking any action.

This section is maintained by Shy Jackson of BCLP.