Last updateTue, 24 Feb 2015 5pm

John Starr focuses on three cases that highlight pitfalls for the construction law practitioner

In this article I examine three recent cases of interest: Dawnus Construction Holdings Ltd v Marsh Life Ltd [2017], RCS Contractors Ltd v Conway [2017] and Thakkar v Patel [2017].

Simon Tilling and Sarah Raby review the new air quality plan

Air quality is one of the major environmental issues facing the modern world. Combustion of fuels in, for example, power generation, industrial processes, domestic heating and road vehicles causes the release of harmful air pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Development activity therefore tends to go hand in hand with increases in emissions and reductions in air quality.

A ‘licence’ can turn out to be a lease when put to judicial scrutiny. Emma Pinkerton and Sarah Moore explain how to make sure legal documentation delivers

Clients often ask their solicitors to put a licence in place, thinking that a licence will be easier and quicker to agree than a lease and that a licence must also be cheaper.

Katie Scuoler examines the current planning position on amalgamation of units

Historically whether planning permission was required for the amalgamation of units has been a grey area for planning lawyers. However, it was a question which was seldom asked. In recent years there has been a strong trend in the central London residential market for the creation of substantial residential properties through the reconversion of previously subdivided houses, the amalgamation of purpose-built flats or adjoining houses, and lateral amalgamation of units. As a consequence, there has been increased focus on decisions regarding amalgamation. This article traces the recent evolution of decision-making regarding amalgamation.

Julian Bass and Sarah Quy provide some practical solutions to flying freeholds

A flying freehold is a quirk of English land law. Here we discuss the practical problems it can lead to, and suggest some possible solutions and damage limitation measures.

In Dreamvar the purchaser’s solicitor was found liable for fraud by the ‘vendor’. Timothy Polli argues the logic of the decision

The case of Dreamvar (UK) Ltd v Mishcon de Reya [2016] arose out of a form of identity fraud which has become known as ‘property hijack’. Such a fraud involves a fraudster assuming the identity of the registered proprietor of a usually high-value property, which is unoccupied and unencumbered by mortgage. They purport to sell the property, receiving the purchase monies in exchange for a forged TR1. They then disappear with the money.

As a professional the offer of gratis services should be made with care. John Starr explains

About a year ago, I wrote about a case that had made it to the Technology and Construction Court on the question of whether a professional could owe a duty of care in the provision of services even where there was no contract in existence and no payment had been made.

Janine Shaw highlights current issues with planning urban extensions

Steps are being taken to address the housing crisis. On 2 January 2017 the government announced support for 14 new garden villages and three new garden towns. More may follow this year. Many emerging and adopted local plans are allocating substantial residential-led schemes, frequently as urban extensions.

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