Seven strategies to beat the recession

One may curse, whine, pray or plead but there still seems to be no escape from the after effects of the financial downturn. But before this recession monster starts gulping down our hard-earned savings, let’s attack it using some time-tested strategies and tools. The following habits combined with your indomitable spirit will ensure that you are left with plenty of cash to meet your needs and more: [Read more…]

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Legal remedies for delay disputes

Building projects are often completed late. This may be due to delay on the part of the contractor, suspension of works, non-payment or other delays caused by the employer, or circumstances outside the control of both parties. MARTIN PRESTON* takes a look at what remedies may be available in such situations. [Read more…]

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Majority of new buildings do not follow building code – JEA

AMMAN – The vast majority of new buildings constructed in the Kingdom, excluding the capital, do not comply with the National Building Code (NBC), according to the Jordan Engineers Association (JEA).
Stressing that failure to follow regulations puts the safety of buildings at risk in the event of major earthquakes, Mahmoud Subhi, head of the JEA’s technical affairs and engineering supervision committee, told The Jordan Times in a recent interview that citizens are obligated to comply with the NBC. [Read more…]

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Negotiate, not bully

by Conrad Egbert

Last week, following extensive chats with developers, contractors and suppliers, it was clear that most of the industry is renegotiating contracts to better suit the current market conditions. Now, even though this may seem like the best option (and it probably is) to kick-start the construction industry, a couple of things that Besix’s Philippe Dessoy and Arabtec’s Tom Barry pointed out, painted a different picture. [Read more…]

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The emergence of Asian construction contractors in the Middle East

by Mark Raymont
In recent years, the Middle East has proved to be one of the most attractive construction and engineering markets in the world for international contractors. Notwithstanding the present global economic climate, parts of the Middle East continue to present significant opportunities and many global construction contractors are active in the region. Among the most prominent are construction contractors who are head-quartered in the Asia Pacific area, as is illustrated by some of the more high-profile projects in the Middle East, where construction contractor consortia have include many of the major Japanese and South Korean construction firms. [Read more…]

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Contractors are left guessing in the Gulf

The Gulf’s construction clients are struggling to make up their minds. Governments may be busy issuing tenders for new projects, but few awards are following once bids come in. For contractors, this presents serious problems, as they do not know if or when they will get any new work.

In Abu Dhabi, for instance, the first tenders have been issued for the MGM development at Mina Zayed, and contractors have been told to submit bids in May for a new 60,000-seat stadium in the Capital City area. But at the same time, the tender for Tawam hospital has been cancelled and contractors and consultants have been waiting for months for awards on a sewage tunnel programme and a metro system. [Read more…]

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New decade, new development of the remoteness rule

by Sarah Thomas

In this, the second of my New Year updates, I would like to discuss two interesting cases which have recently been decided by the UK courts. The first is the UK Court of Appeal upholding of a first instance judgment and the comments that the Court made on the recoverability of damages under English contract law.

The case is Supershield Limited v Siemens Building Technologies FE Ltd. As a reminder, the basic test under English law is that a party will recover losses flowing from the breach that (i) arise naturally, in the usual course of things, or (ii) are losses which the parties may reasonably be taken to have contemplated when entering into the contract (the “Hadley v. Baxendale” test, often known as the “remoteness” test). A previous recent development of this area resulted from the House of Lord’s decision in the Achilleas case which suggests that a defendant will not be liable for losses — even those which are not unusual and therefore potentially not too “remote” — which he cannot reasonably be regarded as having assumed responsibility for.

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U.S. Crackdown is Raising the Price of Corruption

by Andrew Ness

The principal weapon of the U.S. government to combat corruption in international business dealings is the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). To say that the U.S. is now aggressively pursuing FCPA cases is an understatement. In the past year, we have seen billions of dollars of fines, sting operations, and the pursuit of individuals around the world. Here are some of the latest FCPA headlines:

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“Clause pénale” v. liquidated damages – any similarities?

by Joanne Clarke

Delays are of course a common problem in construction projects. French law (like English law) allows for a pre-estimation of damages for delay. However, the common law and the civil law approaches to such pre-estimation appear to differ, as pan-European construction professionals may have encountered.

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New Tort Law Firms up Liability for Tofu Buildings

by Hew Kian Heong

On 26 December 2009, the PRC Tort Liability Law (the “Tort Law”) was promulgated following a seven-year period of discussions and debate. The law will enter into effect on 1 July 2010.

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