Last edited 17 Feb 2021

Net - advantage consumer

Legal digest

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.

Read the article in full

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 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:


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