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Construction contracts: When to call your lawyer

Our latest Construction Breakfast at the Watershed on 4th February saw Gregg Latchams’ Head of Construction, David Morris and Consultant Barrister, Marcus Lavell address over 50 industry professionals with a talk regarding the legal options and issues surrounding contracts.

David kicked things off with a warm welcome and insight into letters of intent and what this means for both parties involved. David gave a real case example of Butler Machine Tool v Ex-Cell-O Corporation and explained that a lawyer will need to be on-hand when “Battle of the Forms” arises. This refers to the not uncommon situation in which one business firm makes an offer in the form of a pre-printed contract and the offeree responds with its own form, making it hard to determine if or when there was an agreement.

A particular focus of the morning was on the different processes for accepting, neglecting or terminating agreements that need to be acknowledged; whether this be with a contractor, supplier or internal problem.

Together, Marcus and David presented a range of cases in the sector and explained how a lawyer can provide the right advice and assistance when necessary, including Liquidated Ascertained Damages (LADs) in construction contracts. David and Marcus explained that for construction and property companies LADs are extremely important because they are a predetermined measure of damage agreed between parties before anything is finalised.

When asked about the Construction Breakfast, David said: “It was fantastic to be able to engage with industry professionals from the Bristol area on what lawyers can offer when agreeing or contesting contracts.

“I am thoroughly pleased with the turn out and I hope that attendees gained some useful insight to take away with them.

“Marcus and I were honoured to be able to lead this Construction Breakfast and be part of conversations that help sector professionals understand a little more about what we do.”

The next Construction Breakfast will be on 10th March 2020. We will be welcoming Paul Smith, Councillor and Cabinet Member for Housing at Bristol City Council. Book your tickets here:

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.

Categories: Commercial | Commercial Property | Construction | Residential Property


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