The Week That Was - 4 August 2023

Published on 04 August 2023

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

Firms on alert for £1.6bn of decarbonisation frameworks

Procurement body Pagabo has announced two new framework for decarbonisation projects valued at £1.6bn.  The frameworks are set to come to tender in September 2023 and run for four years. One framework will be dedicated for healthcare schemes, with Great Ormond Street Hospital serving as a sector-specialist host, and the second will be hosted by Hull City Council and be open to all other sectors.  Each framework will offer a dozen regional lots to ensure SME and local-based supplier involvement. Regional lots will be separated into two main services: retrofit consultancy and main contractor delivery, which will be split into four value bands ranging from '£250k to £1m' up to '£15m and above' across a range of building classes, including Domestic and Non-Domestic (commercial, education and leisure). 

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Corporate insolvencies at highest level since financial crisis

It has been reported that the number of corporate insolvencies in Q2 2023 are at their highest level since the 2008 / 2009 financial crisis, with construction businesses making up 18% of the number of insolvencies.

It is predicted that the number of insolvencies will continue to increase due to rising interest rates and a slowing economy. The construction sector is likely to be significantly impacted as a result.

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Manchester City Football Club stadium expansion approval

Manchester City Football Club's plans for a £300m expansion to the Etihad Stadium has been approved.  John Sisk & Son Limited will likely soon be announced as the Main Contractor undertaking the construction works, which will likely commence in November 2023 and complete during the 2025 / 2026 football season.

It is envisaged that a sky bar with views of the pitch and a roof walk experience will be provided.

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Master of the Rolls explores role in generative AI in law

The Master of the Rolls (MR) has delivered a speech at the Bar Council's annual law reform lecture, focusing on the role of generative AI in law.  He outlined three principles: using technology to improve services, protecting against adverse effects through regulation and data protection, and not avoiding new technologies altogether.

The MR discussed AI's impact on legal practice, such as predicting case outcomes, providing legal advice, and conducting research.  While AI will reduce the time spent on certain tasks, it will create new roles for lawyers in explaining, adapting, and overseeing AI-generated content.

He mentioned the use of AI in the digital justice system at all stages, including early legal services and advice (ELSA) provided by either AI or lawyers.

Lastly, the MR considered the future of law in a virtual world, where AI may create more work for lawyers through transforming certain tasks, and the need for effective AI training.

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Government launches Responsible Actors Scheme

The Responsible Actors Scheme (RAS) has been introduced by the Government to regulate residential property developers in England. Under this scheme, developers must sign a developer remediation contract with the Government to be allowed to operate in the market.

The RAS was officially launched on 24 July 2023. The Government's RAS webpage now includes essential resources such as a plain English guide, an enrolment guide, as well as lists of scheme members and prohibited developers. While these lists are currently empty, they are expected to be regularly updated.

The Government had previously promised to release guidance on the RAS by the summer of 2023, well ahead of enforcing prohibitions on any developer. The recent additions to the guidance webpage are part of fulfilling that commitment.

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Authors for this week's edition:  Dominic Collier, Zack Gould-Wilson, Nikita Austin, Imogen Miller, and Mars Yeung.
Disclaimer: The information in this publication is for guidance purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.  We attempt to ensure that the content is current as at the date of publication, but we do not guarantee that it remains up to date.  You should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content.

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