BuildLaw, Issue 18 Editorial Part 6
Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag
In ‘Pihl v Ramboll – Commercial Expectations from Adjudication’ Tony Bingham highlights the difficulties faced by adjudicators as parties have come to expect judge like quality of reasoning in short timeframes.
Do you see what’s happening he says? We are demanding of adjudication, in short time, high quality and accurate decisions so that disputes do not come round again to be fought in litigation, because that’s too expensive and too time consuming. Adjudicators are supposed to provide a shallow scrape at a low cost. But that’s not what is happening. The demand is for adjudicators with qualifications and skills of a very high order. In other words, down here in the trenches we are looking for the right answer in one hell of a short time with a kit bag full of short cuts. So be it.
Wrap Them Up in Cotton Wool
When things went awry with the West’s riverside home, and the builder was already insolvent, they sued the architect. Why? He should have taken better care of them.
In ‘West v Ian Finlay & Associates – Is the Architect liable?’ Tony Bingham concludes that this case provides a superb set of guidance notes for every architect. Design liability, liability to watch, take care to explain, and to mollycoddle. He says “Get every architect, every trainee architect, and every partner to come to the RIBA in Portland Place and go chapter and verse through this case to learn the lessons. Then and only then, will your professional negligence insurance outfit renew your yearly policy. And this is the reason; it’s because what this architect did or did not do is, in truth ever so ordinary. And if the court, the RIBA, and the teachers of architects think it’s below par, do something about it.”
Letters to the Editor
It was pleasing to see the response to the article ‘WE CAN’T FIX THE PAST – CAN WE FIX THE FUTURE? SECURITY OF PAYMENT – RETENTIONS’ in Buildlaw Issue 17 and we are delighted to publish several of the responses in this issue.
Bouquets and Acknowledgments
We are delighted to welcome Andrew Skelton to our panels. Andrew is a well known and highly regarded New Zealand construction lawyer and his involvement with BDT only serves to strengthen and enhance the already high standard and quality of the dispute resolution services we provide.
The winners of Standards New Zealand annual Meritorious Service Awards were announced at Parliament a few weeks ago. The 17-strong Standards NZ committee which is in the final stages of reviewing NZS 3910:2003 Conditions of Contract for Building and Civil Engineering Construction, was named Committee of the Year by Standards NZ. We are delighted to announce that the Committee’s chairman, BDT adjudicator and arbitrator, Sherwyn Williams, was also singled out to receive one of four Standards NZ Meritorious Service Awards for his role.
We are most grateful as always to our local contributors and for the support that we receive from dispute resolution professionals and law firms around the globe that allows us to bring you a broad perspective on dispute resolution and construction law generally. I do hope you find this Issue of BuildLaw® interesting and useful. Please feel free to distribute BuildLaw® to your friends and colleagues – they are most welcome to contact us if they wish to receive our publications directly.