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The Forfeiture Moratorium has been extended – But what about the arrears?

Published on 26 July 2021. By Mike Kilner, Consultant

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On 16 June 2021 the Government announced that it is drafting legislation to ringfence outstanding unpaid rent that has accrued during the pandemic in order to protect jobs and give businesses breathing space to recover.

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The risks of going large (again)

Published on 21 January 2021. By Katharine Cusack, Partner and Michael Porter, Trainee Solicitor and Alexandra Anderson, Partner

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In our July 2020 article , we looked at the case of Hart and Hart v Large, which concerned a survey undertaken by Mr Large for the Harts.

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Blog

CLC issue new Guidance on dispute resolution in the construction industry

Published on 07 August 2020. By Andrew Roper, Partner and Rhys Pennack-Thomas, Associate

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COVID-19 continues to cause significant disruption and delay to the construction industry. Whilst things are slowly returning to normal and construction sites are resuming work, there are concerns that the effect of the pandemic on projects may result in long-running and costly disputes arising. Accordingly, the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) have issued guidance in an effort to promote a more pragmatic approach to dispute resolution.

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Blog

Hart v Large: Important guidance for surveyors when advising prospective purchasers

Published on 02 July 2020. By Alexandra Anderson, Partner and Lucy Cadwallader, Associate

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The judgment in Hart v Large provides important guidance on the scope of a surveyor's duty when advising prospective purchasers. It also highlights that the courts may be willing to depart from the usual measures of loss, in order to achieve what they consider to be a fair outcome.

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Blog

The curse of COVID strikes again – implementation of the Home Survey Standard delayed

Published on 12 June 2020. By Alexandra Anderson, Partner and Lucy Cadwallader, Associate

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As a result of the lockdown imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the new RICS Home Survey Standard, which was due to be implemented next month has now been delayed until December 2020. Whilst this will allow practitioners more time to become familiar with the new standard, it causes an unwelcome disruption to the introduction of a measure that should provide greater clarity for both surveyors and consumers of what is expected when commissioning and conducting a home survey.

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Blog

Lockdown inspections: Guidance from the RICS

Published on 28 May 2020. By Katharine Cusack, Partner and Kiran Dhoot, Trainee Solicitor

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The RICS has issued two sets of guidance to its members focusing on physical inspections. The guidance builds on the most recent government advice regarding appropriate conduct and the timetable for lifting restrictions.

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Blog

Top 10 for the 10s Claims against surveyors and valuers

Published on 20 May 2020. By Alexandra Anderson, Partner and Felicity Strong, Senior Associate

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The 2010s started with an influx of valuation claims, primarily involving lenders seeking to recoup losses suffered as a result of the financial crisis, loans being made to sub-prime borrowers and the declining property market.

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Blog

RICS Guidance and Key Developments for Surveyors: #2 Coronavirus, valuations and "material uncertainty"

Published on 12 May 2020. By Alexandra Anderson, Partner and Felicity Strong, Senior Associate

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The recent lockdown has posed a serious challenge to the UK housing market, with the present and future potential impact of COVID-19 on the market inviting comparisons to the post-2008 recession.

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Blog

Impact of COVID-19 on telecommunications apparatus

Published on 29 April 2020. By Catherine Young, Associate

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With COVID 19 keeping individuals and businesses in various states of lockdown around the world, the importance of telecommunications in keeping the country connected, both professionally and socially, has been thrown into sharp relief.

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Blog

Lease frustration and COVID-19

Published on 28 April 2020. By Sarah Wilkinson, Senior Associate

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Frustration of a contract occurs due to a supervening event meaning the contract is no longer capable of performance. If frustration is found to have occurred, the contract is automatically terminated.

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Blog

Retailers: new government measures to provide further protection for tenants against aggressive rent collection.

Published on 27 April 2020. By Ben Taverner, Associate

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When the Coronavirus Act 2020 (the "Act") received royal assent on 25 March 2020, commercial tenants across the country were afforded some relief.

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Blog

RICS Guidance and Key Developments for Surveyors: #1 Changes to the RICS Minimum Terms

Published on 27 April 2020. By Alexandra Anderson, Partner and Katharine Cusack, Partner

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In this series of articles, we will be addressing a number of the key risks and challenges that face surveyors and valuers in the current climate.

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Blog

Could I mitigate my losses by using my premises for other purposes?

Published on 14 April 2020. By Catherine Young, Associate

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With the inevitable impact of the coronavirus on retail businesses, many will be looking to mitigate their losses. One obvious way of doing this would be to use their premises, often their single largest overhead, for other uses. But is this possible and what must you consider?

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Publication

Architects and COVID-19 – Practical Advice on complying with your Professional Standards

08 April 2020

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Since the UK Government announced its lockdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses have asked their employees to work remotely and that has affected many businesses where physical attendance of clients and sites is important. A recent RIBA survey reported that as many as 81% of architects are now working from home.

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Blog

Business Rates Reform – Response to COVID-19 and the 2020 outlook

Published on 02 April 2020. By Ben Taverner, Associate

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This year's budget, announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak on 11 March, attracted particularly high levels of attention from the media and business community. The spread of COVID-19 has put enormous pressure on British businesses in the short-to-medium-term and bricks-and-mortar retailers are especially strained, having come into the crisis on the back of their worst trading conditions for a decade.

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Blog

Business Tenant Protection from Forfeiture under the Coronavirus Act 2020

Published on 30 March 2020. By Ben Taverner, Associate and Elizabeth Alibhai, Partner

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Following the Government's 23 March press release in which it was confirmed that commercial tenants who cannot pay their rents "because of Coronavirus" would be protected from eviction, legislation is now in force which goes some way to clarify what this means in practice.

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Blog

COVID-19 and Commercial Tenants' Rights Regarding Rent

Published on 25 March 2020. By Elizabeth Alibhai, Partner and Ben Taverner, Associate

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This blog sets out various issues for commercial tenants to consider in relation to impending rent payments and government intervention in response to Covid-19. We are currently fielding numerous enquiries from tenants seeking advice about whether rent holidays, reductions and other concessions can be obtained in these unprecedented times.

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Blog

Rents, Returns and Turnover in the Age of Online Retail

Published on 18 October 2019. By Ben Taverner, Associate

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News has surfaced recently that H&M has approached some of its landlords with a view to agreeing bespoke turnover rent arrangements for new leases and for lease renewals. The arrangements take the form of "total occupational deals" as they propose offering landlords a single sum as a proportion of turnover for each store to cover service charge, rent and business rates.

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Blog

Adjudication and liquidation – the TCC gets it wrong…but right

31 January 2019

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Back in August, we wrote a blog about adjudication and liquidation, following the judgment in the TCC case of Michael J. Lonsdale (Electrical) Limited v Bresco Electrical Services Limited (in Liquidation) [2018] EWHC 2043 (TCC) (Lonsdale). The judgment concluded, for the reasons set out below, that an adjudicator does not have jurisdiction to determine a dispute involving a company in liquidation (CIL).

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Blog

What lies ahead for the construction industry in 2019?

22 January 2019

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At the beginning of a new year it is customary to consider what the year ahead may bring. 2019 promises to be eventful not least with the UK's exit from the EU on 29 March 2019. Here's what to look out for in the next 12 months…

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Blog

Ground conditions: An entitlement to additional costs despite accepting risk?

08 January 2019

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The High Court published a decision late last year which deals with a frequently encountered issue; a claim for additional payment where a sub-contractor encountered adverse ground conditions. The sub-contractor, Clancy Docwra, was engaged by E.ON Energy to excavate trenches in connection with the installation of a district heat network in central London. During the course of the project Clancy Docwra encountered adverse ground conditions (in particular underground brick walls and brick rubble) and the parties were in dispute over what additional entitlement Clancy Docwra had in relation to those works.

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Blog

Ban of combustible materials in cladding

21 December 2018

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One and a half years after Grenfell, the Building (Amendment) Regulations 2018 come into force and restrict the use of combustible materials in buildings.

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Blog

How long does your collateral warranty last?

29 August 2018

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The Technology and Construction Court's recent judgment will be of interest to all those in the industry who either provide or receive collateral warranties.

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Blog

Adjudication and liquidation – the final word?

03 August 2018

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It is generally the case (though not always!) that courts are reluctant to enforce monetary award adjudication decisions in favour of companies in liquidation (CILs). This is because of the uncertainty surrounding the CIL’s ability to repay those sums should it later transpire it was not entitled to the award.

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Publication

Construction newsletter July 2018

30 July 2018

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What challenges does the construction industry face and what does the future hold?

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Blog

Network Rail to ban retentions and mandate payment periods to subcontractors

20 June 2018

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Network Rail mandates tier one contractors to abolish cash retentions and pay suppliers within 28 days.

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Blog

Oral variations can leave you between a Rock and a hard place

31 May 2018

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Variations to contracts, whether the scope of the works or services to be performed or the terms under which those works/services are provided, are common place in the construction industry. Often these variations are agreed on site, in a hurry and with little regard to any formalities that might be contained within the parties' contract. The recent case of Rock Advertising Limited v MWB Business Exchange Centres Ltd provides an important reminder that the contract shouldn’t be ignored.

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Blog

A valuer does not owe a duty of care to the directors of a borrower

Published on 02 May 2018. By Alexandra Anderson, Partner and Felicity Strong, Senior Associate

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The High Court has held that a valuer who prepares a valuation for a lender does not owe a duty of care to the directors of the borrower who claim they have suffered loss as a result of relying on that valuation.

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Publication

Construction newsletter April 2018

13 April 2018

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The first quarter of 2018 has been a challenging one for the construction industry. It saw a further decline in construction output in January, with the Office of National Statistics reporting that construction output fell by 3.4% in January from December.

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Blog

New(ly reiterated) grounds for stay on enforcement of an adjudication decision

05 April 2018

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A real risk of the dissipation or disposal of an adjudication sum may justify the grant of a stay on enforcement of an adjudicator's award.

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Blog

Smashing 'Smash and Grab' – Coulson J delivers significant blow to smash and grab tactic

01 March 2018

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Over recent years a body of case law has developed supporting the principle that in the absence of a valid pay less notice an employer is exposed to a 'smash and grab' adjudications for payment of the sum stated as due in a contractor's interim application even if that application is overstated. On Tuesday this week, in what is likely to be his final judgement before moving to the Court of Appeal, Coulson J delivered welcome clarification on the matter in Grove Developments Ltd v S&T (UK) Ltd. Coulson J held that even in the absence of a valid pay less notice it is open to an employer to commence adjudication proceedings for determination of the 'true' value of an interim application potentially blunting the tactical utility of 'smash and grab' adjudications.

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Blog

Equitix ESI CHP (Wrexham) Limited v Bester Generacion UK Limited: Judicial guidance on the applicability of the HGCRA to a dispute under a power generation contract

19 February 2018

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Equitix ESI CHP (Wrexham) Limited (Equitix), a special purpose vehicle, entered into a design and build contract with Bester Generacion UK Limited (Bester) for the construction of the Wrexham Biomass Fired Energy Generating Plant (the Project).

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Blog

RICS Conflict Avoidance Pledge

12 February 2018

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It is a well-known fact that the costs of resolving disputes can quickly escalate, and that it is often not cost and time effective to pursue even mid-sized claims through arbitration or litigation. In an attempt to circumvent the need for this sort of dispute resolution, by avoiding disagreements developing into disputes, the Conflict Avoidance Coalition has formed and introduced a "Conflict Avoidance Pledge".

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Blog

Retrospective and prospective delay analyses – do they provide the same results?

26 January 2018

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The recent case of Fluor v Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industry Co considered the difference between prospective and retrospective approaches to delay analysis and whether they lead to the same results.

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Blog

Incorrect Ownership Certificates: A Cautionary Tale

19 January 2018

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In a case which the judge deemed to be "a cautionary tale about how not to submit a planning application and its consequences", the High Court has recently tackled the question of the effect of incorrect ownership certificates submitted with planning applications. In considering the issue, the Court has given us a helpful reminder of when such an error might lead to the quashing of a planning permission.

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Blog

Notification under a specific clause must be clear

12 January 2018

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Systems Pipework Limited (SPL) v Rotary Building Services Limited (RBSL) determines that where a clause may have a draconian effect it is necessary for notification of this clause to include reference to the clause and clearly comply with the clause's purpose and requirements.

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Blog

12 Drummers Drumming: Pa rum pum pum pum

18 December 2017

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Whilst we all like to get into the festive spirit it's not much fun if you're living next door to those drummers. In this final instalment of the festive blog series we consider what action can be taken against noisy neighbours.

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Blog

11 pipers piping: How does MEES differ in Scotland?

15 December 2017

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It's day eleven of our festive blog series: The origins of the piping pipers may not be firmly rooted in Scotland, but they brought to our minds thoughts of bagpipes, and other things that are found north of the border. The Scottish were first to implement their energy efficiency regulations but now the English and Welsh are not far behind, with MEES coming into force early next year: what will the differences between the systems be?

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Blog

10 Lords a-Leaping

14 December 2017

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It's day 10 of our blog series: The House of Lords was once the court of last resort for most cases heard in the UK. However, in 2009 those Law Lords leapt into the 21st Century and rebranded themselves as the Supreme Court of Justice.

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9 Ladies Dancing: The Mayor of London protects the night-time economy

13 December 2017

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The Mayor of London published supplementary planning guidance last month, aiming to protect and enhance cultural venues across the capital and promote the night-time economy, and the draft revised London Plan could put this on a policy footing.

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8 Maids A-Milking: Milking the Consumer during the Festive Period

12 December 2017

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This article explores what's going on in the retail industry to draw in shoppers at this crucial time of year.

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Blog

FIDIC Rainbow Suite: Second Editions unveiled

12 December 2017

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18 years after the publication of the original editions, FIDIC released its Second Edition Red (Construction), Yellow (Plant and Design Build) and Silver Books (EPC / Turnkey Projects) at the FIDIC Users' Conference in London last week. The philosophy behind the revised contracts is greater clarity and transparency with an emphasis on avoiding disputes and quickly resolving them when they do arise. We highlight some of the key changes within this note.

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7 Swans-a-Swimming: new regulations are there to protect them

11 December 2017

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It's day seven of our festive blog series: The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 have come into effect. What do they say for the likes of our swimming swans?

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Blog

6 Geese A-Laying: The Significance of laying the Golden Brick

08 December 2017

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What does the term "Golden Brick" mean, who uses it and why? In this article we explore the usefulness of the golden brick, the formalities which determine whether it applies and alternative approaches.

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5 gold rings: a sensible way of paying for your Christmas shopping?

07 December 2017

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It's day five of our festive blog series: Gold is rare as a payment form these days, and cash is becoming increasingly so. Whilst retailers and consumers are embracing cashless payments, they are not without their risks.

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4 Calling Birds – it's good to talk…

06 December 2017

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How will the new electronic communications code affect telecoms providers?

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3 French hens: are too many of our house-building eggs in their baskets?

05 December 2017

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We couldn't pass up the opportunity to mention Brexit – its potential impact on the rate at which we are building out new homes has been in the news a lot recently, with fears over the loss of foreign workers and slowdown across the economy.

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Blog

2 Turtle Doves

04 December 2017

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Most leases of both commercial and residential premises include an express quiet enjoyment covenant, but what does this actually mean, and how can you ensure peace is retained.

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Blog

A Partridge in a Pear Tree

01 December 2017

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This is the first of a series of blogs we shall be posting in the run up to Christmas based upon The Twelve Days of Christmas carol with a property theme. We hope you enjoy reading them and have a very merry Christmas.

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Payment and Payless Notices – the Basis of Calculation – Judicial Guidance at last

13 November 2017

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Whilst the Scottish case of Muir Construction Limited v Kapital Residential Limited is not binding on the English courts, the judgment is not only perfectly sensible but also provides useful guidance on the requirements for a payless notice under the amended Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act (the Act) - an area which has not had much judicial attention since the change from the withholding notice regime. In a bumper month for payment notice disputes, we also had guidance from the Court of Appeal on the need for payment notices following termination – both decisions coming just as the Government announced its consultation on the 2011 amendments to the Act.

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