It has been over a week since one of the major players in the UK construction sector announced its insolvency. The news caused widespread panic in the construction industry and beyond. The effects are wide reaching and continue to unfold, however now that some of the dust has settled, this article considers tools that may be available to construction parties, by virtue of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 (as amended) (“the 1996 Act”), to weather the ensuing storm.
The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has fined (for the first time ever) a merging party for a failure to provide information during a merger investigation. Hungryhouse have been fined a £20,000 fixed penalty for failing to supply information to the CMA during its investigation into the proposed merger between Hungryhouse and JustEat – which was given the green light in late November.
In December 2017, the Article 29 Working Party (WP29) published detailed draft guidelines on consent under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The guidance, which is currently open for consultation until 23 January 2018 provides an analysis of the concept of consent, together with guidance for organisations on the requirements to (i) obtain; (ii) demonstrate and (iii) maintain valid consent under the GDPR. The UK ICO issued its own draft guidance on consent earlier last year.
The day to day reality faced by many construction contractors is a fast paced and competitive business environment with a continuing need to win business and maintain good customer relations and to manage time pressure, availability of resources and quite often lengthy complex multi-authored contracts.
The European Commission has held that the eligibility rules for the International Skating Union (ISU) are in breach of EU competition law and prevent athletes from competing in independent competitions through fear of ISU sanctions.
The Government is currently consulting on a proposed package of reforms to the construction provisions contained in Part 2 of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 (“the 1996 Act”). The consultation is running in parallel with a consultation in relation to retention payments in the construction industry, both of which are due to close on 19 January 2018.
Since April 2015, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has had powers (under Part 1 of the Competition Act 1998 and Part 4 of the Enterprise Act 2002) to enforce competition law in the financial sector. At the end of November, the FCA announced its first statement of objections since it received those competition enforcement powers, against four asset management firms who have allegedly breached UK and EU competition law.
Tribunal fees were introduced in July 2013 and abolished on 26 July 2017. We have been waiting to see what the effect of the abolition of fees would be. The statistics for the quarter July to September 2017 have just been published. There has been an increase of 64% in the number of single Employment Tribunal claims lodged.