Welcome to our blog where we share our expertise and opinions on a range of topical issues.

Systech Law

Role of the Expert and its duty of loyalty

The recent case of Secretariat v A Company has shone light on the duty of the expert witness and the issue of conflicts of interest, but has it raised more questions than answers? Reliance on expert witnesses in construction disputes is as prevalent as ever. It is precisely because of this that the role of the expert and their duty to the court or tribunal is so important. The overriding objective of any expert is to assist the court in making its decision. This much is clear.

Highway construction

Successfully working with an Independent Certifier

Independent Certifiers are increasingly being used in contracts in Canada and Australia. Differing in many respects from contract administrators such as the FIDIC Engineer, the Superintendent under the AS4000 or NEC Project Manager, working with an IC requires a subtly different approach. This article draws on Systech Law’s experience to provide an overview of the role of the Independent Certifier and how to successfully work with them.

Highway under a bridge

Non-probability sampling in construction claims – four years since Amey LG

The application of sampling has not always been well received by courts and tribunals, primarily because, by its nature, it alters the burden of proof. However, in situations involving numerous low-value items, such as minor but widespread defects, the cost and time required to prove each individual item can be prohibitive or, at least, disproportionate. This is where sampling evidence has been posited as a solution.


Cash is king

The construction industry is credit-heavy and complex, a very dangerous combination that often leads to contractors not getting paid on time and/or not receiving what they are due. With the works being carried out on credit, coupled with long and convoluted payment chains, there are many opportunities for money to fall through the cracks. However, with good housekeeping, efficient cash management and new government legislation, it is possible for contractors to protect and enhance their cash position.

Covid-19 – legal concepts in France and Algeria; a civil law perspective

Confirmed cases of COVID 19 have soared over 400 000 worldwide with fatalities crossing the threshold of 15,000, which has led the World Health Organisation (“WHO”) to upgrade the COVID 19 outbreak from a “public health emergency of international concern” to a “pandemic” (the “Pandemic”) on 11 March 2020. Europe is the new epicentre of the Pandemic. African and Middle East countries are now closing their borders and ramping up their responses in order to keep the spread of the virus at bay and mitigate its impact on their economic activities.

The price of a definition – Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd v ABC Electrification Ltd [2019] EWHC 1769 (TCC)

Imagine millions of pounds relying on an interpretation of a single word. A single word to determine the meaning of a contract’s clauses and the placement of liabilities. This is exactly what happened between Network Rail Infrastructure Limited (“Network Rail”) and ABC Electrification Ltd (“ABC”), an incorporated joint venture between Alstom Transport UK Holding Limited, Babcock Rail Limited and Costain Limited (“Costain”). Network Rail, as the Claimant, was seeking declarations in Part 8 proceedings as to the interpretation of the contract.

Bridge over water

Time & delays under FIDIC Red Book Edition 2017: words of caution

Standard form contracts usually stipulate a period within which the contracted works must be completed by the contractor. However, to prevent those contracts from being frustrated by an act(s) of prevention by the employer they also provide that, in those circumstances, the contractor is relieved of the obligation to perform the works within the stipulated period, and include a mechanism that allows the contractor to recover the time lost for delays that are beyond his control.