Category: Trust

Right to Finish Part 2

Do you really want to sign up to a contract that allows your client (or the main contractor) to keep taking work away from you and giving it to someone else? Contracts both entitle and oblige the provider to perform the whole of its scope – what I call a

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Retention as Leverage

What is the retention? Is it, as I have suggested, the contractor’s money which the employer is holding to ransom? Is it security for any defects discovered during the defects period which the contractor fails to put right? Is it a form of commercial leverage? In Yeovil v The Stepping

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Trust and the wrong tone

Dominic Cummings, a UK Government advisor, was outed for an ill-conceived trip to Barnard Castle during the Spring 2020 lockdown (a place which ought to be famous for its mechanical silver swan rather than policital shenanigans). In his statement, he made a series of increasingly bizarre claims about testing his

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The Ideal Subcontract

The scandal of construction, according to the Huxtable Report (1983) is: the persistent and continuing imposition as a matter of deliberate policy… of onerous and unfair subcontract conditions. An ideal subcontract, said the Report, was which set out the rights and obligations of the subcontractor as clearly as possible, was

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Responsible and fair

In the light of the Covid-19 pandemic, parties have been burrowing into the depths of their small print like never before. I am not convinced this is the answer. For once, I am NOT alone! The UK government has issued guidance for parties to public sector contracts (PPN 02/2020) and

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What Does Co-operation Really Mean?

Is it enough to just cc people into emails and hold a few meetings so everyone is informed about progress? Short answer: no. Long answer, read on… Rubbing along together Although there is no overriding duty of good faith under English law (a limited duty appears in some relational contracts),

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Good Relations

Relational contracts can be identified by looking for these characteristics: no express terms preventing an implied duty of good faith* long-term contract in context of a long-term business relationship parties intend to perform their roles with integrity and fidelity to the bargain parties are committed to collaborating in performing the

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What is Good Faith?

In Post Office v Bates (2019), the court said that in relational contracts there are implied obligations of good faith: “This means that the parties must refrain from conduct which in the relevant context would be regarded as commercial unacceptable by reasonable and honest people. An imlied duty of good

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Review Your Contract: Trust

A few years ago, I was speaking to an audience at an RICS event and someone asked how he should proceed to write a contract if he didn’t trust ‘them’ (also known as ‘the other side’). I was momentarily stunned into silence – a rare and unusual occurrence for me!

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Can You Trust the Employer with Your Retention Money?

The retention is a separate ‘pot’ of money, which increases in line with the price paid to the contractor. Retention is the contractor’s money which the employer kidnaps and holds to ransom until the end of the defects period. According to the 2017 BEIS research paper retention is “is a

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