Archived Legal Articles from 2020

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Construction & Infrastructure


Survey reveals continued IR35 concerns for UK businesses


HMRC introduced the 'off-payroll working rules', commonly referred to as the 'IR35 rules' in 2000, to tackle situations where some contractors took advantage of the tax efficiencies of providing their services through their limited company or another type of intermediary, when in…

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Risk-Assessing the Uncontrollable


The HSE has just announced that it will be conducting its latest round of construction site inspections throughout October. They are focussing on various issues, most notably how sites are dealing with exposure to dust (in all its forms). Construction workers are disproportionately more likely to…

Do your payment terms need to be revisited?


Do you know what the payment provisions are within your contract? How do you ensure that you comply with the timeframes? Are your payment terms compliant with the Scheme for Construction Contracts? A recent Technology and Construction Court decision in the matter of Rochford Construction…

CJRS update: Job Retention Bonus


The Job Retention Bonus aims to reduce the scope for compulsory redundancies by rewarding employers who retain their furloughed employees. The bonus is a fixed £1,000 one-off taxable payment, payable to the employer, for each eligible employee that was furloughed and kept continuously employed…

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Plot Sales


The number of new homes being built each year in the UK continues to rise. According to NHBC's annual new homes statistics, this has risen by more than 80% over the last decade and in 2019 alone, 161,022 homes were registered with NHBC. At Forbes Solicitors we have a specialist team in our…

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The HSE have published the annual fatality statistics for 2019/2020


On the 1st July 2020, the HSE released the annual figures for 2019/20 for workplace fatal injuries reportable under RIDDOR and falling within their jurisdiction as enforcement authority. The figures as yet are provisional and will be finalised in July 2021. What are the Key trends shown by the…

Effective Risk Assessing Post-COVID


Coronablindness (Noun) "To become blind to previously obvious matters as a result of a temporary impairment of the mind caused by a global pandemic, mass lockdown and/or over-indulgence in alcoholic beverages during said periods". Usage "Sorry I forgot to put apply the…

Signing deeds during COVID-19 - Virtual execution and e-signatures


Since working from home has become "the new norm", we've been asked to consider whether the use of digital transaction platforms and e-signatures is appropriate for executing deeds. In addition, whilst social distancing continues, can witnessing of signatures be done remotely? On 18…

Not a Minute too Soon for Late Payment Reforms


In January, the first reading of The Small Business Commissioner and Late Payments etc Bill 2019-21 (the "Bill") took place in the House of Lords. In what would be a welcomed development for contractors in the construction sector, the Bill proposes wide-ranging reforms to current statutory…

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How exposed are you...


Do you know what losses you are able to recover from the other side if they are in breach of contract? Do you know what losses you will be liable for if you are in breach of contract? Now more than ever you need to evaluate your existing contracts to see how exposed you are in terms of the…

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Business as Usual or Unusual?


With the lockdown starting to ease and plans in place for how we can get back to normal, we need to be mindful that things will not be the same or 'business as usual' for quite some time. There is a lot to be considered in the near future and as for the construction sector in particular,…

Safe Return to Work for the Construction Sector - what does this look like?


Following the announcement made by Boris Johnson on Sunday, employers across the construction sector are being faced with the difficult task of determining what in practical terms a safe return to work looks like. The message is clear that construction should continue if it cannot be reasonably done…

Considerations for reopening the workplace following the easing of lockdown


How do you keep your workforce safe from a virus which has spread the globe on pandemic scales, leaving death and destruction in its wake? It is fair to say that last night's announcement has left those Britons desperately seeking respite from lockdown considerably underwhelmed but, now there…

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The Effect of COVID-19 on Commercial Property


A few years ago, US Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld, made a statement about unknown knowns and known unknowns, which is an example of the struggle of trying to articulate uncertainty into a decision-making process. In recent weeks, clients and property lawyers have been attempting to distinguish the…

COVID-19: Managing construction contracts


Contractors concerned that they could face delays or increased costs as a result of COVID-19 should consider whether they have any express entitlements to relief under their contract. This article will consider the possible entitlements under JCT and NEC standard form contracts. JCT Force…

The Effects of COVID-19 on the Property and Construction Sector


The challenging times in which we currently find ourselves is also affecting the property development and construction sector and many businesses are seeking assurances from funders, contractors, supply chains and professional support services. The number of developers and construction firms…

Coronavirus - Construction sites shutting down


With Government policy that construction sites should remain open during the coronavirus lockdown, a health and safety law expert believes it'd be wise for bosses to consider stopping operations to avoid needless risks and breaches of health and safety. David Mayor, Insurance Associate at…

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The Importance of Timing in Latent Defect Claims


A latent defect may not become apparent for many years after practical completion. As a result of this time lapse, limitation becomes a live issue within many construction disputes. It is a central issue to be considered whether you are thinking of bringing a latent defect claim and is also a useful…

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Cavity Barriers - Persimmon's review


In light of the Grenfell Tower tragedy in 2018, fire safety should be at the forefront of the minds of developers and home builders alike. Following the findings of an independent review being published in December 2019, housing developer Persimmon has been subjected to heavy criticism after a…

Latent Defects


The past 12 months have thrown up uncertainties in the structural defect insurance market, with the collapse of Danish insurance broker Alpha Insurance. This has had an impact in respect of both residential and commercial new build properties. In light of this it is worth considering one aspect of…

Employment Changes coming up in 2020!


April tends to be a busy and stressful time of the year for many businesses who have the end of their financial year around this time, multiple employees on annual leave over the Easter holidays, together with changes to make in line with new legislation - particularly in respect of your employees…

Limitation of Liability clauses in construction contracts: key considerations


When negotiating commercial contracts, parties often become embroiled in extensive negotiations when it comes to each party's legal liability in the event that a breach of contract takes place. This is particularly apparent within the construction sector, which is largely owing to the affect that…

PART 2: Delays - the Importance of Record-Keeping


In Part 1 of our Construction Disputes series, we identified that delay and quality issues are often the biggest problems for construction projects and the cause of most disputes. Delay may increase both the time for performance of the contract and the cost of performance for both the Employer, the…

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