John Riches

<< I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.>> Thomas A. Edison

If you examine the cases on the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009 payment provisions this quote may be apposite.

Jaberwocky was a nonsense poem written by Lewis Carroll. We can at least date nonsense back to 1872, way before the Construction Act payment provisions. 

We know that the Holy Grail, in the construction industry, is getting paid. Are we any closer to finding this legendary chalice and getting the money?

The Holy Grail is getting paid in the construction industry.

On 1 October 2011 LDEDC Act came into force for all construction contracts made after that date. It amended the old HGCRA, not by much in respect of adjudication but it brought in a fundamental change in respect of payment.  The draftsmen of standard form contracts were on the ball and the amended standard contracts were available for the 1 October 2011 deadline.  The industry does not, however, adapt readily to change.

The Brothers Grimm collection of Fairy Tales includes a tale about a tailor with “seven with one blow” embroidered on his belt, to explain that he had killed several flies with one stroke when they attacked his jam. This embroidery was later mistaken by a giant to signify his killing prowess, resulting ultimately (with some cunning trickery) in the giants all fleeing in fear of the tailor.

I was pleased to see that we have a new series for this newsletter called ‘Back to Basics’. This is welcome because, after 14 years of adjudication, complacency has grown. Adjudication is often seen as the only route for dealing with the dispute. This has led, in my experience, to the basics being ignored. Often whether there is in fact a contract in writing is ignored.

Rumour has it there has been one enforcement in the TCC under the new legislation, but no report is yet available. I gave a lecture on 27 April 2012 to my local branch of the CIArb on the new payment regime and Tony Bingham spoke on the new adjudication provisions.
As the dark mornings and evenings begin to leave us and the shoots of spring emerge, the commercial world also seems to be waking up. For Adjudication, 2012 should see some of out with the old and in with the new. I suspect that both will move slowly and we will not see the back of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 provisions for some time.

“Laws are like sausages. You should never watch them being made” - Otto von Bismark.

Some of us have been working with BIS (or whatever they are called this week) both on the original Construction Act and the recent amendments to it in the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009.