Success at a recent trial for our Construction team

6th Jul 2021

The team have successfully obtained Judgment at trial for a claim for building works, which was defended due to alleged defects.

The Defendant alleged that no payment was due as the works had not been completed and issued a counterclaim for the cost of the works being undertaken by an alternative contractor. It was accepted that there were some snagging issues and the Defendant was in repudiatory breach for not allowing our client to return to site to correct these. Experts agreed the remedial works were circa £1,000. The debt successfully recovered for our long-standing client by Rogers & Norton’s Litigation team.

The primary issue for the Court was to determine how ‘completion’ of the installation should be interpreted, because the terms of the contract provided that ‘the balance shall be payable on completion of the installation’. Our client’s position was where there is ‘substantial completion’, the defendant must pay the contract price subject to a deduction by way of set-off or counterclaim for the defects, whereas the defendant’s case depended on a ‘complete in every particular’ construction.

The Court found in favour of our client, that completion was to be determined by whether the installation was ‘substantially complete’. Although minor defects remained, the works achieved their primary purpose and therefore the installation was substantially complete.

The Defendant was ordered to pay our client the balance of the contract plus interest, subject to a deduction at the cost of the remaining defects. Our client also recovered their legal costs.

If you have any questions about this article or would like to speak to our expert team about a similar issue, please visit our website.

*This article is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or any other professional advice.