The Week That Was - 12 November 2021

Published on 12 November 2021

Welcome to The Week That Was, a round-up of key events in the construction sector over the last seven days.

Abolition of cash retentions bill laid before Parliament

The Construction (Retentions Abolition) Bill 2021-22 passed its first reading in the House of Lords on 25 October 2021. The Bill, proposes the following:

  • Any clause in a construction contract (as defined by the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act) which allows a payer to withhold retention monies will be of no effect from 25 January 2025
  • At that date, any retentions withheld must be refunded within 7 days

The bill is a private members bill and follows similar private members bills that have tried to address the issue of retention monies not being released on time. However, without tacit government support at a minimum, it is likely to fail due to a lack of parliamentary time, as did the previous bills.

To read the bill, click here.

COP26 – the World's Greenest Buildings

As COP26 enters its final day, we thought it would be good to provide a link to 7 of the world's greenest buildings. To read more, click here.

Single dispute or multiple sub-issues in adjudication - Quadro Services Ltd v Creagh Concrete Products Ltd.

A reminder that technical arguments which go against the spirit of adjudication as an "efficient, swift and cost effective" process are unlikely to succeed.

Here, the Claimants challenged proceedings enforcing an earlier adjudicator's decision regarding three unpaid payment applications on the basis that each payment notice was in effect a separate dispute.  The court rejected this, affirming that the existence of issues that were capable of individual determination did not mean that they could not form sub-issues in the context of a wider dispute. It was a matter of degree and rarely black and white, particularly in construction disputes which often had multiple sub-issues which could be sole issues or part of a wider dispute. Additionally, requiring the party seeking payment to make multiple applications would add unnecessary cost and inconvenience, contrary to the aims of adjudication to make such disputes easier, quicker and cheaper to resolve. 

To read the full judgment, click here.

Construction administrations highest since lockdown

In October 2021, 23 construction businesses filed for administration. Construction administrations are at their highest level since March 2020, when 34 firms folded.

It has been a challenging time for construction companies with a decrease in construction activity and an increase in the cost of materials and staff shortages. Construction sector profit margins are therefore coming under greater pressure. 

For the full article, click here.


Thank you to Emrys Moore, Paul Smylie and Sarah O'Callaghan for contributing to this week's edition.

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