Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

CIC anxious about new bill's potential 'legal nightmare'

  • Comment
News

A new bill covering contracts that has been introduced into the House of Lords could be 'a legal nightmare' for construction, according to the Construction Industry Council.

The Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Bill, introduced in December, reforms the law of 'privity of contract', whereby a contract can only be enforced by the parties to it. If the new Bill is enacted, third parties will also be able to enforce the terms of a contract, either if the contract expressly so provides or if the contract purports to confer a benefit. The cic says, 'This second limb is a major concern in construction, since rights can be conferred unwittingly.'

John Wright, who represents the riba on the cic's liability task force, said, 'We are pretty worried about it.' He said that, for example, a tenant of a building, using the building in a way that was not originally intended, could be entitled to take action against the original architect. 'We feel it is a recipe for even more bad feeling,' said Wright. 'It goes against the whole ethic of what Egan is trying to do - to get rid of contracts.'

Graham Watts, chief executive of cic, said, 'It cannot be right that everyone in construction should need a lawyer at their side whenever they enter into a contract; that is certainly not what Egan had in mind!'

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.