News

Carbon footprint. Our commissions, and attending conferences, inevitably involves air travel across Europe, middle East, far East and South Africa. But at home our car use has dropped substantially in favour of train travel. Is there any better way than train to go to Brussels for the IBA conference on Construction Projects?


Slow housing market? Our recent quantum-related commissions have involved disputed final accounts for external envelope refurbishment, terminated appointments on a luxury Country House project, late completion of social housing units, leaking floors and walls, major cost overruns and defective installations. .


Assisting students. The Champion Pearce LLP association with leading universities grew substantially last year, with staff now supporting undergraduate and post-graduate courses at Brunel University (Civil Engineering) and University of Reading, and tutoring MSc students at the Law School at University of Salford and King’s College, London.


Insurance appointments. Over the last year Ronan Champion has been appointed as expert in a range of insurance related commissions involving complete destruction of housing and retail units from large gas explosion (property damage claims), large house fires (product liability) and delays to completion of a housing development (product liability and professional indemnity)


“À la bout de la terre “? Ronan Champion was appointed as expert on a number of commissions in far-flung, barely accessible, locations, or as one client puts it “at the end of the earth”. Despite the locations, our work in various locations is increasingly carried out supported by use of ediscovery and edisclosure systems. We have now completed our first two all electronic commissions involving no paper printing or shipping. Location is no longer a barrier to providing detailed input or advice.


Trains, boats and planes. Our appointments to act as expert in rail-related disputes have continued, with appointments across several countries. Recent commissions have included rolling stock maintenance sheds (one collapsed, one refurbished), refurbishing a suite of provincial stations, and disputed valuation of a major change of design to a large city interchange.


Editorial panel appointment.Ronan Champion was appointed as a member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Law in the Built Environment. The Journal,  produced by Emerald, with  Paul Chynoweth of the School of the Built Environment, University of Salford as Editor.


Shop closed today? In disputes involving retail premises, the time required to repair or rebuild the store to maintain profitable trading is often crucial. In recent commissions we acted for insurers, the insured and third parties in matters involving a Victorian high street, damaged pub and restaurant, destroyed furniture showroom. Before their demise, we acted for insurers to the major retailer, including Comet.


New Author. Ronan Champion has been co-opted as joint author of the leading text Construction Contracts Law and Management and will assist with developing and updating the book from its fourth to fifth edition. The book, published by Taylor & Francis, part of Routledge, is a best-selling text for built environment, project management and engineering courses around the world. Ronan joins existing authors Professors Will Hughes and John Murdoch, both of University of Reading. The fifth edition is due to be published in early 2014.


Termination. Recent analysis indicates that 40% of our appointments in the last two years have involved termination of contractors, subcontractors or consultants. Matters for review by the appointed quantum experts have included: progress achieved at termination, value of work done at termination, delays incurred at termination, final account settlements, loss of profit claims, allegations of defective work and calculation of the additional costs incurred to complete the works..


Sponsoring CSTT.Our chosen charity is the Chartered Surveyors Training Trust, a group that supports underprivileged, but talented, children and aims to support them through university.


Lanes v Galliford. As has been widely reported, the long running disputed arising from refurbishment of train maintenance facilities in Scotland was settled after several adjudications, enforcement actions, an reference to the Court of Appeal and an arbitration. Ronan Champion acted in arbitral proceedings for Lanes.


More Residential  matters. We have recently been appointed on a diverse range of commissions involving housing involving everything from a new housing complex in South London, pub accommodation and, a caravan park.


The new British Standard on Construction Procurement, BS8534, was signed off by the BSI committee on construction procurement for launch on 26 September 2011. This new standard, BS 8534, "Construction procurement, strategies and procedures – code of practice", is the product of long consultation involving Construction Excellence members, academics, lawyers and construction professionals. Champion Pearce LLP contributed during the consultation period.


RICS has issued a new guidance note "Acceleration", reference GN 80/2011. The note summarises what is meant by 'acceleration' in the construction industry, how, in practice, acceleration can be achieved and how it can be valued. Champion Pearce LLP contributed during the consultation period.


RICS has issued a new guidance note "Defining completion of construction works", reference GN 77/2011. This guidance note is intended to summarise the principal features of completion of construction works under a variety of construction contracts. It is intended to be of use to surveyors who are certifying, or providing services in consequence of or in relation to, completion of construction works.


RICS has issued a new guidance note "Contract administration", reference GN 69/2011. The purpose of this guidance note is to provide practical guidance to RICS members in England and Wales who undertake the role of 'contract administrator'. It also does not deal with the responsibilities of employers' representatives under design and build arrangements.


In Geldof v Simon Carves [2010] the Court of Appeal helped develop the law of equitable set-off. Champion Pearce acted for Geldof as expert on quantum.


Talk on Tendering in Construction, on 9th December 2010 at City Inn Westminster: www.sbk-legal.co.uk


E-litigation, e-disclosure and e-working in TCC litigation was subject of a talk by Ronan Champion at King's College London Annual Update Conference in September 2010.


Ronan Champion to speak at IBA conference in Brussels on the 17th September 2010.


In his capacity as Chairman of the Society of Construction Law, Ronan Champion will co-host the Society's Annual Dinner at Middle Temple Hall on 12 May 2010.


Ronan Champion attended and spoke at the SCL conference in Leeds on 5 March 2010. The conference included presentations concerning valuation issues with NEC compensation events.