Archive for March, 2010

Adjudication Injustice

Now here’s a thing, I started a discussion recently on Linkedin about an adjudication issue we had crop up with a client of ours.

The issue was that we had successfully defended a claim against our client. We beat them fair and square as the saying goes. Now I’m not one to boast about our achievements (maybe I should!) but I saw it as all in a days work and how we go about doing things: Give the client the service they want (tell them how it is, mind you!) pay your dues and let’s work together on the next project. Just be professional about things, you know?

So here’s the issue: As I say, we defended the referral notice successfully with the adjudicator ruling in our client’s favour. He also decided that the other side should pay all of his fees too. Here comes the justice part: The other side (being advised by a reputable claims consultancy business I’ll add) have decided that they will not pay the adjudicator’s fees. Basically they don’t like the justice that has been served on them. So guess what… Yes, you guessed it… The adjudicator is signed up on the basis of joint and several liability. So our client has to pay the fees in full and then spend more money trying to get that money back too! Now to me that’s not really justice for our client. He has, quite rightly, defended a claim made against him; it’s been ruled that he’s right, and now because the other side don’t like the result for something they started, our client picks up that tab too! He’ll never get his money from the subcontractor as I fear they will not be around. As the theme of the comments made make… That’s life and the way of adjudication! Suck it up and get on with it!

If you want to read all of the comments or participate in the discussion (have you ever come across the situation where the other side refuses to pay the adjudicators fees?) you’ll have to join the Contract Risks Management Group – Construction Industry on Linkedin. Or otherwise you can post your comments here!

Tesco Value QSs and Architects?!

Now we all like to have a bash at the big boys every now and then so what about the latest story to break about Tesco?

They have flown in some Indian Architects and QS’s to train them in the UK to work on their initial planning and development projects.

Why can they not use UK consultants to do this type of work?! How are they going to keep them aware and up-to-date with UK construction methods, legislation and techniques?! Is it just Tesco driving down costs again, or is something more sinister afoot? Who knows, but has anyone got the ear of someone senior at Tesco that they could talk to about this? It’s mad! Here we are in the UK construction sector struggling to get work, and a big player like Tesco goes overseas! I expect we’ll get Gordon Brown to intervene on our behalf as it’s an outrage! Or maybe we will just fade away quietly… Does anyone realise that without an active and engaged construction community there’s a lot of damage being done to us at the moment?!

I prefer Sainsburys anyway, so I’ll go with the boycott that some of the Building Magazine readers have suggested.

Construction needs your voice!

Back to my voice for the industry theme and, in particular, Building Magazine’s Charter 284 campaign.

I read with interest over the weekend their articles about regulation burdening housing developers, and how the government let local authorities insist developers provide the social housing they needed, and the infrastructure to go with it too. Because residential land values could keep rising on the back of increased house prices it meant that these additional costs were just factored into the development equation, and it was people like you and me that picked up the tab as a result. The government could make a nice little earner out of it too! Well things have changed round now, house prices have fallen and if you factor in all of these regulations the land is worthless so the development doesn’t happen. If you’re a private developer on small site forget it too. If you have to build anywhere between 25 – 40% o social housing on the same site who will want to live there?! So it’s not a problem of getting a mortgage necessarily any more! And nobody seems to be able to work out what to do. Well apart from get Davis Langdon to give us the answer we already know… that these regulations cost money!

We wouldn’t have minded that commission…

Building does seem to have put forward some strong ideas though and I was pleased to see I got an answer published on Friday to my questions:

  1. When we have all signed up what are they going to do?
  2. It’s interesting to read that £1 spent in construction generates £2.84 of GDP, but is that better than, say, the car industry?

Well the answer is that when they’ve got sufficient numbers signed up they will take the arguments to the political parties before the election. And with regards the multiplier, construction is 3rd behind rail and health. The car industry ranks 5th! Couldn’t believe that! Why all the fuss with the car industry when we are far more important?! Come on everyone let’s do something about this!

So if you haven’t done so sign up to the campaign, and while you’re at it sign the petition at the Downing Street web site too!

Nuff said?!

The changing face of construction

Well it’s March and the sun has been shining on us this week. Is it just me that feels positive about the future or is there something in the air?! I think not, as a recent consumer confidence survey said that confidence is at a two-year high, and that was before we knew the economy had grown by 0.3% instead of 0.1%. Does 0.2% really make that much difference to us?

As far as our business goes we are gearing up for the move to the offices upstairs for the end of the month, and we’ve been busy clearing out lots of old paperwork that we’ve accumulated over the years. There’s some interesting contractor names in there – some are gone, some are still with us but under a different name…

  • Chrsitiani & Nielson
  • Avebury
  • Gleeson
  • Mowlem
  • Kaverner
  • Banner Holdings
  • HBG
  • Benson
  • MJ Gleeson
  • Walter Llewellyn
  • Driver Construction
  • Claydon
  • Ballast
  • William Verry
  • Botes
  • Taylor Woodrow
  • Sindall
  • Snape Roberts
  • Totty Cosntruction
  • Tilbury Douglas
  • Jarvis Construction
  • JJ McGinley
  • Try Accord
  • Bluestone
  • Swallow Construction
  • BMH
  • Sunley Turriff
  • Eugena
  • BSR Metro
  • Amec
  • William Sapcote
  • George Wimpey
  • Crispin & Borst
  • Pettifer
  • Norwest Holst

…And so the list goes on. Can you remember some of the names?

The other bit of interesting news I found was that according to the REC/KPMG index of permanent placements by recruitment agencies, the job market is on the up too.

So the economy is growing and job market is showing signs of improvement. And after many months in the doldrums I believe our business is on the up again too!

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About Me

I’m now the Managing Director of Mynott Associates Limited my own specialist measurement business. I’ve been in the industry all of my life since I left school. My first job was with Bovis Construction as a management trainee where I trained to become a quantity surveyor. I’ve worked for contractors all through my career, I am FRICS, FCIOB and MCIHT qualified and act as an RICS assessor. I’m also a keen Arsenal supporter having followed them from a young boy

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