September 2017

In this issue we feature some of the challenges that are the hallmark of oral construction contracts. We also look at whether a duty of good faith applies to granting extensions of time, how final and binding is an expert determination, how not to amend NEC contracts, and the recent UK Supreme Court decision in which the Court upheld an appeal in the MT Hojgaard litigation restoring the TCC’s original decision and finding the contractor liable to comply with a fitness for purpose type obligation contained in a technical schedule despite obligations elsewhere in the contract to exercise reasonable skill and care and to comply with an international standard.

In ‘Case in Brief’ Sarah Shaul and Simon Hart from RPC discuss the recent UK High Court decision in Erith Holdings Limited v Murphy [2017] EWHC 1364 (TCC) in which the Court held that an oral contract for waste removal services had been entered into by a company and not by the company’s owner in his personal capacity. The case highlights how important it is that parties ensure that they understand who the parties are with whom they are contracting; as this case demonstrates, any misunderstanding in that regard can have significant adverse consequences.



  • Supreme Court clarifies meaning of ‘due debts’ in voidable transaction regime
  • EMT Hojgaard: Supreme Court rules on fitness for purpose dispute
  • NEC Contracts how not to amend them
  • Erith v Murphy: oral contracts and knowing who you are contracting with
  • The prevention principle and implied duty of good faith in construction contracts
  • Oral construction contracts: RCS Contractors Ltd v Conway, a costly affair
  • How “final and binding” is an expert determination?
  • Granting extensions of time in construction contracts – a duty of good faith may apply
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