Royal Brompton Hospital NHS Trust v Hammond (No. 7)

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
CourtCourt of Appeal (Civil Division)
JudgeSIR ANTHONY EVANS
Judgment Date09 February 2001
Neutral Citation[2001] EWCA Civ 206
Docket NumberA1/2001/0095
Date09 February 2001

[2001] EWCA Civ 206

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF JUDICATURE COURT OF APPEAL (CIVIL DIVISION)

ON APPEAL FROM THE TECHNOLOGY AND CONSTRUCTION COURT

(HIS HONOUR JUDGE RICHARD SEYMOUR QC)

Royal Courts of JusticeStrandLondon WC2

Before:

Sir Anthony Evans

A1/2001/0095

The Royal Brompton Hospital National
Health Service Trust
Claimant
and
Frederick Alexander Hammond And Others
Defendants

MR A EDWARDS-STUART QC and MR M CANNON (instructed by Masons, London EC1R 0ER) appeared on behalf of the Claimant

MR M TAVERNER QC and MR R EDWARDS (instructed by Fishburn Morgan Cole) appeared on behalf of the 8th, 14th and 15th Defendants

( )

Friday, 9th February 2001

SIR ANTHONY EVANS
1

These are two applications for permission to appeal from a judgment given by His Honour Judge Richard Seymour QC in the Technology and Construction Court on 18 December 2000. 2. The judgment which runs to 77 pages and cannot be said to be unduly long is rightly described in the skeleton arguments as "exemplary". It was concerned with one part of one section of complex litigation arising out of the construction of the new Brompton Hospital in Sydney Street, Chelsea, between 1987 and 1990. The relevant parties are the claimants ("RBH"), who were the building employers, and the 8th, 15th and 16th defendants WGI International ("the architects").

3

The issue raised in this part of the proceedings was whether the architects were negligent and in breach of their professional duty of skill and care by reason of extensions of time for completion of the contract works which they allowed by various certificates and at different dates to the contractors, Taylor Woodrow. Thanks to the clarity of the judgment, and of the submissions made orally and in writing by Mr Edwards-Stuart QC for the claimants and Mr Taverner QC for the architects, I can summarise the relevant issues quite briefly.

4

The works commenced in 1987 and the contract date for completion was 23 July 1989. They were not completed in fact until 22 May 1990, on the face of it 43 weeks late. But the architects issued certificates having the cumulative effect of extending the date for completion until the date of practical completion, so that the claimants were unable to claim damages for late completion in the arbitration proceedings which followed between them and Taylor Woodrow.

5

They contend in these proceedings that the certificates were negligently issued and that the architects are liable to them in damages accordingly. The measure of damages they claim is compensation for their weakened bargaining position vis-a-vis the contractors, in negotiations to settle the arbitration proceedings. The negotiations were successful but the claimants say that they would have resulted more favourably for them if the extension certificates had not been negligently issued.

6

There were four grounds on which certificates were issued which the claimants allege should not have been issued. As regards two of them, the judge held that there was no negligence by the architects, and the claimants do not seek permission to appeal against those findings. These two grounds were first, delay caused by late release of the site to the contractors; and secondly, an item of work described as safety cabinets. The first came to be called the CHW ground because the site was formally occupied by the Chelsea Hospital for Women.

7

It is relevant for present purposes that the first of these periods of delay naturally occurred in the early part of the contract period, and that the second, a much smaller item, resulted from an order given towards the end of the period in February 1990. The periods of delay resulting from these two matters were found to be 11 weeks and 3 weeks respectively. The judge held that the architects were not proved to have been negligent in relation to either of these certificates although he had considerable reservations about the correctness of the first (paragraph 77), and no complaint is made about these parts of his judgment.

8

The two further grounds on which certificates were issued were the installation of Hydrotite (five weeks and seven weeks, total 12 weeks) and commissioning (20 weeks, of which 12 weeks were described as concurrent: paragraph 70). The former, Hydrotite, is a damp-proof membrane which was added to the specification as an underlay on concrete floors and thus fitted below the specified flooring. The judge held that the architects were negligent in certifying the second, seven-week, extension, which should not have exceeded two weeks (paragraph 82). The period negligently over-certified was therefore five weeks. He...

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9 cases
  • Adyard Abu Dhabi v SD Marine Services
    • United Kingdom
    • Queen's Bench Division (Commercial Court)
    • 11 April 2011
    ...Concurrent Delay by John Marrin QC (2002) 18 Const LJ No. 6 436. 278 A similar approach was taken by HHJ Seymour QC in Royal Brompton Hospital NHS Trust v Hammond (No 7) (2001) 76 Con LR 148. Having accepted that the approach set out in Balfour Beatty and Malmaison was correct the Judge the......
  • Saga Cruises BDF Ltd and Another v Fincantieri SPA (formerly Fincantieri Cantieri Navali Italiani SPA)
    • United Kingdom
    • Queen's Bench Division (Commercial Court)
    • 29 July 2016
    ...in Adyard. That judgment considers in turn the cases of Balfour Beatty, Henry Boot, Royal Brompton Hospital NHS Trust v Hammond (No 7) (2001) 76 Con LR 148 (HHJ Seymour QC) and City Inn Ltd v Shepherd Construction Ltd [2010] BLR 473. 249 It also lays out some of the important groundwork for......
  • City Inn Limited V. Shepherd Comstruction Limited
    • United Kingdom
    • Court of Session
    • 22 July 2010
    ...(Manchester) Limited was considered by Judge Richard Seymour QC in Royal Brompton Hospital NHS Trust v Hammond & Others (No 7) 2001 76 Con LR 148. That litigation was concerned with one part of one section of complex litigation arising out of the construction of the new Brompton Hospita......
  • City Inn Limited V. Shepherd Construction Limited
    • United Kingdom
    • Court of Session
    • 30 November 2007
    ...v Malmaison Hotel (Manchester) Ltd was considered by Judge Richard Seymour QC in Royal Brompton Hospital NHS Trust v Hammond (No 7), (2001) 76 Con LR 148, at paragraph 31. In that passage Judge Seymour gave a further explanation of what is meant by "events operating concurrently".......
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