Welcome to our summer round-up of articles on recent issues and news affecting UK construction businesses.

To discuss how these issues might affect your business, please get in touch with one of the Key Contacts.

Contents:

Building safety update

The Building Safety Act is now in force

The Building Safety Act, which received Royal Assent on 28 April 2022, marks a fundamental change of approach to building safety that applies from a building's design stage and throughout its lifecycle. Read more here: The Building Safety Act is now in force.

Building Safety Act – what do you need to do?

What does the Building Safety Act 2022 mean in practical terms for the construction industry? Our checklist, Building Safety Act – what do you need to do?, identifies steps the construction industry needs to take now.

Resolving construction disputes

ADR’s place in the Digital Justice System

In ADR’s place in the Digital Justice System: shifting the paradigm to focus on resolution, we consider the role that ADR might play as the justice system digitalises. (This article was first published by Construction Law on 28 June 2022.)

Principles on when to refuse enforcement of an adjudication decision

Few parties are successful in challenging an adjudication decision on the grounds of a breach of natural justice. In Adjudicators – off on a frolic of their own?, (published in Scottish Legal News, 5 May 2022), we considered the Court of Session's decision in Van Oord UK Ltd v. Dragados in which the judge set out the key principles to consider in such challenges.

Disputes of the future

At the GAR Live: Construction Disputes conference on 31 March 2022, a distinguished panel discussed various interesting issues. Two in particular stood out: (1) New obligations relating to green financing; and (2) Human rights – new terms to eliminate slavery. We consider both in brief in Disputes of the future. (This article was first published here by Construction Law on 6 June 2022.)

Answering a substantive claim in court proceedings can bar a challenge to the court's jurisdiction on the basis that there's an arbitration agreement

Section 9(3) of the English Arbitration Act 1996 provides that an application to stay legal proceedings may not be made by the defendant after it “has taken any step in those proceedings to answer the substantive claim”. In Answering the substantive claim, we reviewed the decision in Fairpark Estates Ltd and others v. Heals Property Developments Ltd [2022] EWHC 496 (Ch) in which the court considered whether a party had barred itself from challenging jurisdiction by “answering the substantive claim”. (This article was first published by Construction Law on 4 May 2022.)

Negotiated Dispute Resolution: a step on the way to integrated dispute resolution?

The latest edition of the Commercial Court Guide swapped “alternative dispute resolution” (ADR) for “negotiated dispute resolution” (NDR). ADR is a familiar concept so why change the name and why now? We considered those questions in NDR: a step on the way to integrated dispute resolution. (This article was first published by Construction Law on 4 April 2022.)

Environmental issues

Greenwashing: sustainability claims made to enhance market position

UK fashion retailers' product sustainability claims are going to be scrutinised by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). Where the claims are found to be misleading ("greenwashing"), they face enforcement action and criminal penalties. In Fashion industry to feel the snag of greenwashing enforcement by the CMA, we consider what this means for any business that makes sustainability claims to enhance its market position. 

New Code of Practice for making environmental claims

In New Code of Practice for making environmental claims, we review the new, provisional Code of Practice providing guidance for companies on how and when to use carbon credits as part of their net-zero commitments and aims to bring more credibility to this practice.

Supply chain issues

Supply chains in an inflationary environment

With prices rising and the rate of inflation forecast to continue rising, it is important to spot the signs of disruption and know where you stand from a contract point of view. In Supply chains in an inflationary environment, we outline issues to consider to help you mitigate business risks.

Green and renewable energy

Sustainable supply chains: the business, legal and compliance benefits of embedding ESG in your procurement practices

Businesses are increasingly accountable not only for their direct environmental, social and governance (ESG) impact, but also that of their supply chains. In Sustainable supply chains: the business, legal and compliance benefits of embedding ESG in your procurement practices, we overview the key trends and vital considerations for businesses.

Global Energy Blog

Our Energy team publishes a regular blog here. Recent publications include:

Real Estate and Planning

Latest updates

Our Planning team publishes regular updates on the Dentons Planning Blog. Recent articles include:

Issues for commercial and HR directors

Employment law, immigration, and health and safety

Updates on employment, benefits, pensions and immigration are published on our UK People Reward and Mobility Hub. Recent articles include: