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Compulsory Purchase and Development Value – Court of Appeal Ruling

When private land is compulsorily acquired by public authorities, former owners are entitled to compensation equal to its open market value, which includes any development potential. That point was made in a Court of Appeal case concerning a field that was needed by a local authority for construction of a new school. The council argued that compensation payable...

High Court Prioritises Patient Care in NHS Contract Tendering Dispute

The award of public contracts is automatically suspended if disputes arise as to the fairness of the tendering process. In deciding whether such suspensions should be continued until trial, however, judges have to strike a tricky balance between public and private interests. One such case concerned a company that had made an unsuccessful bid for a laboratory...

Dispute over Contract Adjudicator’s Fees Triggers Debt Recovery Test Case

It is in the nature of contract adjudicators’ work that they cannot please everyone and often have to make decisions that are contrary to the interests of those responsible for paying their fees. Exactly that happened in one High Court case that raised issues of particular interest to debt recovery specialists. A builder who had been embroiled in a number of...

Company Directors – Articles of Association Are Not Just Dusty Documents!

Articles of association are often read just once, if at all, by company directors before being put away in a safe to gather dust. However, as one Court of Appeal ruling showed, they are the constitutional bones of any company and are of crucial importance, particularly at times of crisis. The case concerned a property company the shares in which were split 75...

Deadlocked Companies – Judges Have Power to End Paralysis

Companies in which no one has a controlling interest can easily become deadlocked if shareholders fall out. However, judges have a range of powers to bring such paralysis to an end and enable all concerned to move on with their lives. One High Court case exactly on point concerned a pipe fitting company in which two men each held 50 per cent of the shares. They...

Contractor Must Pay £14.7 Million after Glass Panels Plunge into Street

Construction contracts can go horribly wrong, but few can have been as disastrous as one prestige office development which culminated in giant panes of glass falling into the street, putting the lives of passers-by at risk. The events triggered a storm of damaging national publicity and a High Court case in which a design and build contractor was ordered to pay...