Last updateTue, 24 Feb 2015 5pm

John Houlden and Adrian Martin consider the handling of TUPE in procurement documents

A bid team treads a delicate line when it seeks to present a confident and apparently certain solution to a purchaser’s needs if that solution will involve changes for employees. A bidder should therefore have regard to the potential employment law ramifications of what it says in its bid document.

John Bosworth summarises changes to permitted developments and a further blow to launderette users

From 6 April 2016, amendments are made to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (GPDO 2015). The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) (Amendment) Order 2016 (the Amending Order) introduces new permitted development (PD) rights and puts the office-to-residential right on a permanent footing.

Clare Auty and Doris Woo examine the application of penalty clauses in procurement contracts

The use of liquidated damages clauses and service credits, such as those found in many commercial contracts, including public service network supply agreements and managed service agreements, are subject to the penalty test established in Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Co Ltd v New Garage & Motor Co [1914]. Provisions deemed by courts to be penalty clauses are unenforceable and bear the following characteristics:

Peter Kershaw pinpoints the arrival of a new era for major development opportunities

A key point I often find myself stressing in discussions with anybody considering investing time and money in developing land or property is that:

Matthew Collingwood-Cooper and Mike Trodden look at the operation of pay less notices in construction contracts

In Harding v Paice [2015], the Court of Appeal revisited the authorities dealing with the consequences of a failure by a paying party to issue a pay less notice in accordance with the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 (as amended) (Construction Act). The Court of Appeal’s judgment means that different rules apply depending on whether a payment application is for an interim or a final account.

Mark Lynch considers the problems underlying the housing shortage

Headlines focus on the emotive issue of hard-working families being unable to afford their own homes, and the government’s pledge to get Britain building. However, the government’s massive pipeline of major construction projects (like Crossrail), its recent announcements to get directly involved in housebuilding, and a collaborative risk-sharing contracting philosophy (NEC3), all point towards a housing shortage that is unlikely to abate without major investment by the government in skills-development across the construction industry.

Neil Mirchandani and Alice Jowitt report on the role of mediation across the EU

The Mediation Directive (2008/52/EC, the Directive) is not necessarily something that contracting authorities in England and Wales think much about. The culture of mediation, and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) generally, is well embedded here, and when the Directive came into force in 2008 there was little the UK government needed to do by way of implementation. However, the situation is different in some other EU member states, where the Directive has been a force for good in promoting mediation as an alternative to legal proceedings, or as a means of resolving disputes before too much time and money is invested in the court or arbitration process.

Mark Lewis and Elisabeth Mason assess a recent case of difficult drafting

In BT Cornwall Ltd v Cornwall Council [2015], the High Court has ruled that Cornwall Council and others were entitled to terminate an outsourcing contract with BT Cornwall Ltd (BTC) due to BTC’s failure to meet certain key performance indicators (KPIs). The judgment provides some interesting practical pointers for those negotiating and drafting these complex documents and those considering terminating contracts.