‘Shard’ claims decided

Posted: 11th January 2013

A dispute between companies engaged in steelwork for Europe’s tallest building, the Shard, has been resolved by a High Court judge. A damages award of more than £800,000 to the main contractor in respect of delays and defects will be set off against more than £900,000 due to the sub-contractor.

Construction siteCleveland Bridge UK Limited (CBUK) was engaged under a sub-contract by Severfield-Rowen Structures Limited (SRS) to fabricate and supply steelwork for the skyscraper’s first nine levels. CBUK made monetary claims for sums due to it under the sub-contract; however SRS counter-claimed in excess of £4 million in respect of alleged delays and defects which were said to have impacted on the progress of SRS in erecting the next 31 levels of steelwork.

Mr Justice Akenhead ruled that CBUK was in breach of the sub-contract in respect of certain delays which had been caused by an ‘extraordinary overload of work’. SRS was entitled to £824,478.49 damages for prolongation and disruption of construction work between February and April 2010 and the additional costs involved in accelerating its part of the project. That sum will be set off against an award of £928,472.55 plus VAT to CBUK by way of sums due under the sub-contract.

CBUK was also found liable in respect of certain fabrication defects, described in non-conformance reports, which were said to have had an impact on the project delays. In the absence of agreement, the quantum of damages due in respect of those matters will be ruled on by the court at a later date.