Forbes Solicitors

Employee, worker or self-employed?


When could works be considered practically complete?


Having a “Fit for Purpose” clause that is, well …

Employee, worker or self-employed?

It is common in the construction industry for a company to engage individuals to provide services on its behalf to an end client.

Whilst the company may want the client to view these individuals as part of their company, it is also common for the company to argue that the individuals are self-employed contractors, and definitely not employees or workers.

The employment status of an individual is an important issue for a business to determine as an individual's status determines the rights and obligations that they are entitled to.


When could works be considered practically complete?

A key part of a development agreement is ensuring clarity on what constitutes the practical completion of a project, and for it to cover what happens with any deviation from the specification of the project.

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Faraday Development Limited v West Berkshire Council – concerning dodgy package deals

When is a public works contract a public works contract?

On 14 November 2018, the Court of Appeal handed down judgment on the question of whether a future commitment in a development agreement entered into by West Berkshire Council constituted a public works contract for the purposes of the Public Contracts Regulations.

The Council was found to have breached procurement regulations by effectively committing to award an above-threshold works contract as part of a land plus works package.


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Having a “Fit for Purpose” clause that is, well …

To the outside world, lawyers are often accused of focussing on some of a contract’s finer details and seemingly small points but the recent case of Williams Tarr v Anthony Roylance has demonstrated how a company’s fortune can change on a simple turn of phrase or absence of a clear obligation.

Facts of the Case

The facts of the case are unspectacular; following construction of a retaining wall, it was discovered that water flows behind it required a drain.  Under a separate contract [to that governing the construction of the wall] this drain was designed and put in, but was later found to be insufficient.  The question for the court was whether the contract for the drain could be linked to the contract for the retaining wall.


PART 1: What does the contract say? Number one tip from litigators to avoid Construction Litigation

Construction litigation is costly, uncertain and high risk.  It gets in the way of ongoing projects, places financial strain on contractors, and creates disruption in the timeframes of a build. Court Proceedings should be a last resort.

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Grenfell Tower 18 months on; where are we now?

It is now approaching 18 months since the terrible tragedy that took the lives of 72 Grenfell Tower residents on 14 June 2017. So where are we up to with the fallout, and what happens next?

The press and public were quick to criticise.  In the months following the incident, numerous companies and bodies were scrutinised for failures, which, it was perceived, contributed to the fire itself, and the catastrophic loss of life.

There were the obvious and less controversial targets, of course; firms that manufactured, supplied and fitted the cladding that caused the fire to spread so quickly, those that were involved in the refurbishment of the tower, and the Local Authority overseeing that process.


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Department Focus – Commercial Property

Our Commercial Property department currently provides advice specifically to the construction sector in relation to; Site Acquisitions including purchase contracts; conditional contracts; options to purchase, agency agreements, promotion agreements, sales of development sites; plot disposals by way of lease, transfer or otherwise; taking and granting leases of development sites; preparation of documents for site development including preparation of infrastructure agreements and planning agreements and act on behalf of owners and/or Banks in connection with lending facilities.

The commercial property department work with developers and builders, land owners, land promotors and banks/finance companies. Examples of some of our experience within the construction sector includes:

  • Acting for a Lender in providing a development bridging finance loan of over £3mn
  • Acting for a land owner to enter into an option agreement for the sale of development land ultimately being exercised for a value of circa £6mn
  • Acting for residential social landlord developer in the acquisition of land, with simultaneous development agreement for total gross development value £8 million
  • Acting for residential developer in the acquisition of site for development, site set up and sale of 138 plots
  • Acting for a developer in the land acquisition and development of a business park comprising a number of industrial units, together with the subsequent letting of the units
  • Site acquisitions, sales of development sites, plot disposals, taking and granting leases of development sites, preparation of documents for developments and
    acting on behalf of owners/banks in connection with lending facilities

To contact a member of our team for further information please click here.

Main Office: Rutherford House, 4 Wellington Street (St. Johns), Blackburn, BB1 8DD
where a list of partners is open to inspection   ·   t: 01254 222399   ·   f: 01254 52347

This firm is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA No. 46408)

Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority   ·   VAT No. 174 394 344   ·   Terms & Conditions

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