E:gen - April 2017

Japanese Knotweed – A Victorian Nuisance

A recent case brought by two landowners against Network Rail in Cardiff County Court provides a warning to developers and landowners alike that Japanese Knotweed is a matter to consider as part of good estate management and not limited to a preliminary consideration when purchasing land.

Insuring Against Rights of Light Risk

Ever since the decision of the High Court in the Heaney case (HKRUK II (CHC) Limited v Marcus Heaney (2010)) rights of light have had much greater prominence in the risk registers for major development schemes. This reflects both the severe impact of a successful injunction application (as initially happened in Heaney) and the high levels of compensation often paid in order to resolve rights of light claims. Developers need to decide at an early stage how best to manage this risk.

Building for the Future: When will a construction project benefit from the VAT zero-rate?

Provided the various conditions can be met, the VAT zero-rate is a useful tool for house builders and charities planning new construction projects. This article will examine so-called ‘golden brick’ deals and the extent to which a charity can take advantage of the zero-rate.

Variation of Development Agreements – reduced opportunity for procurement challenges

The limitations faced by third parties intent on stymying development projects, particularly in relation to actions brought on the basis of non-compliance with public procurement regulations, are demonstrated by the High Court’s recent decision in Wylde v Waverley BC [2017] EWHC 466 (Admin).

There is more than one way to skin a cat in Construction Disputes

The earliest printed citation of this proverb according to google is a short story by the American humourist Seba Smith in The Money Diggers, 1840: "There are more ways than one to skin a cat," so are there more ways than one of digging for money”. Often clients, for very good commercial reasons, want to compromise claims. Contract drafters have also sought to mitigate disputes by introducing, for example, early warning notices as standard in construction contracts. However, compromise might not be the right way to skin the cat, especially if it means giving up very valuable rights.