State intervention removes arbitration clauses

This blog post was written by Stuart Robertson, one of the partners in Kensington Swan’s construction team. A right to arbitrate a dispute arises from an agreement to arbitrate within the contract entered into by the parties. It reflects the fundamental freedom of choice at the heart of contract law. But are all contracts suitable…

Hawaii’s road woes roll on

This blog post was written by Stuart Robertson, one of the partners in Kensington Swan’s construction team.  A Washington DC think tank, Reason Foundation, has released its latest annual report on the cost-effectiveness and performance of US state, as opposed to local, roading infrastructure. Unfortunately for the Aloha State, its overall rating was 48th out…

Liquidation bars progress payments in Victoria

In New Zealand, set-offs usually do not apply to a statutory demand issued in reliance on the Construction Contracts Act 2002 (‘CCA’). This is because section 79 prohibits set-offs other than those of an undisputed liquidated amount. What has not been settled is whether this section would apply to prevent set-off when liquidators are appointed…

Sigh of relief on retentions

Under the Construction Contracts Amendment Act 2015, retention money withheld under commercial construction contracts will be required to be held on trust. The purpose is to better protect retention money owed to contractors and subcontractors in the event of a business failure. Kensington Swan, identified a flaw in the transitional provisions of the Amendment Act,…

A garage by any other name…

With the rate of building increasing in Queenstown it appears that some project are skipping the quality assurance processes, especially around design. Mr Cole and Ms Bohn recently moved in to their rental in Shotover Country and found that the garage had been fenced in. They claim the fence was not there when they previously…

Putin builds a bridge

Russia started construction on 18 March 2014 to build a 19 km bridge connecting Russia to Crimea. The ambitious $4.3 billion project is flagged to be completed by December 2018, but this seems unlikely given the labour, geography and engineering difficulties. There will be two bridges running parallel to each other. One will have four…

Gender representation amongst adjudicators

Adjudication is one of the most common forms of dispute resolution used in the New Zealand construction industry. When a dispute arises the parties are able to agree a specific adjudicator and failing agreement they are able to apply to an authorised nominating body to have an adjudicator appointed. I recently read an article from…