Reasonable endeavours – Is it even a thing?

Yes it is. A recent UK case has examined the phrase ‘reasonable endeavours’ in relation to contractual obligations. It is common for contracts to require a party to use reasonable endeavours to achieve an outcome. When that desired outcome is achieved there is no issue. However, when the outcome is not achieved parties may allege…

Court of Appeal rejects claim of negligent misstatement for code compliance certificate

Last week the Court of Appeal released their decision for the case of Invercargill City Council v Southland Indoor Leisure Centre Charitable Trust. This case arose from the collapse of the roof of the Invercargill community courts in 2010. The Trust, who owns the building, claimed the Council was negligent in issuing a code compliance…

Councils on the hook for product liability?

NBR reports that Carter Holt Harvey has issued third party claims against 47 local body councils, alleging breach of duty in the building consent process. The Ministry of Education is suing Carter Holt Harvey in negligence, claiming its Shadowclad plywood cladding product is inherently defective, and has contributed to weathertightness problems in hundreds of school…

James Hardie Representative Action Begins

James Hardie is an international building materials company, specialising in the manufacture of ‘Harditex’, ‘Titan board’ and ‘Monotek’ building cladding products used in the construction of several thousand New Zealand homes and buildings throughout the 1990’s and 2000’s. They are known to be a sophisticated company with a long history of litigation relating to asbestos-related…

Developer back-tracking over budget blow-out – VH Five SPV Limited v Kimble Contracting Limited

  Building company Kimble Contracting Limited entered into a fixed price agreement with property developer VH Five SPV Limited. As expected, the parties agreed the timing of payment claims, when the principal was to issue its payment schedules, and thereafter when payment of the scheduled amount would occur. Unusually in this contract, those ‘timetable’ terms…

The costly risk of refusing ADR

In New Zealand, most construction disputes are resolved through adjudication under the Construction Contract Act 2002. Looking more broadly, legal disputes in New Zealand can be resolved through: litigation in court, which is becoming increasing expensive and protracted; or alternative dispute resolution (‘ADR’) including negotiation; expert determination; mediation; adjudication; and arbitration. Overseas, parties to disputes can also choose between…

Return of Fencegate

One of 2015’s most high profile neighbours-at-war disputes has resurfaced. Last year we blogged about the view obstructing structure that was built on a Roseneath property. The structure was allowed under the District Plan on the basis that it was a fort rather than a fence, an assertion that is disputed by Peter Aitchison and…

Tick Tock! Limitation lessons from Lee v Whangarei DC

The majority of legal proceedings about construction defects raise issues about limitation. These are the very basic limitation principles that apply: The  Limitation Act 1950 and the Limitation Act 2010 require claimants to commence legal proceedings within six years. In many construction defects cases, the six year period does not start until the defects are discovered or are reasonably discoverable. The Building…