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Reflections on the requirement for construction contracts in writing under HGCRA

Agapiou, Andrew (2012) Reflections on the requirement for construction contracts in writing under HGCRA. In: Proceedings of the Construction, Building and Real Estate Conference 2012. Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS Foundation), pp. 52-64. ISBN 978-1-84219-840-7

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Abstract

The deletion of section 107 of Part II of the Housing, Grants and Construction Act 1996 will have a profound effect on the requirements for contracts in writing under the adjudication provisions of the new Construction Act 2009. This paper presents a reflection on the legal provisions and case law concerning the requirement for contracts in writing under the provision of the 1996 Act, against the backdrop of new rules encompassing oral and partly-oral agreements between parties. While the new provisions are unlikely to have an impact in cases where there are formal contracts which incorporate adjudication clauses, the changes are more likely to have an impact where there letters of intent are involved and where contracts in writing are based on standard terms and conditions supplemented by oral agreements. While the legislative changes may not have an impact on the role of the Adjudicator, it may affect their modus operandi, requiring more efforts to ascertain the precise intentions of the parties under dispute.