Net - advantage consumer
In her next instalment, construction lawyer Najma Dunnett looks at West & Anor v Ian Finlay & Associates (2013). The case provides salutary lessons to consultants and others with net contribution clauses in their engagement terms who assume they are adequately protected. You may need to think again.
The judge looked at the net contribution clause in this case, applying the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations. This legislation protects consumers against unfair standard terms in contracts with businesses and states that any ambiguity should be interpreted in favour of the consumer. The judge decided the clause was ambiguous and interpreting it in context concluded that it did not encompass Armour, as the main contractor, only the other contractors and specialists appointed directly by the claimants. Consequently, the clause did not limit the defendant’s liability to the claimants rendering him liable for the whole of the loss.
CIOB competition winners
The winner of the 2013 Chartered Institute of Building article competition is… Mark Wilson for his article insulation specification. Mark is principal at the Leeds-based practice, Design Office Architectural Ltd, and developer of BuildingDesignExpert.com. He is a Chartered Architectural Technologist with a passion for building design technology and innovation. His article looks at the realities of insulation, how installations on site rarely achieve manufacturers’ published performance standards, and what sort of insulation is appropriate where.
The four runners-up are:
- Norman McIntosh from Roundhouse Architecture, for his detailed and practical guide to conical roof slating.
- Charles Hippisley-Cox, Senior Lecturer in Building Conservation at the Department of Architecture & 3d Design at Huddersfield University for his extraordinary article on the use of spiders to eradicate woodworm. Woodworm and spiders.
- Rachael Browne, sixth year MArch student at The Robert Gordon University Aberdeen for her beautifully written article about the history and regeneration of the Ballymun high-rise development in Dublin. Ballymun mass housing and regeneration.
- Oliver Latimer, a 2013 graduate in Civil Engineering MEng from Loughborough University for his article on the relative merits of a dynamic rather than static briefing process. Dynamic briefing.
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