Insights: Gillian Birkby

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Who pays when the roof blows off?

Gillian Birkby |

Who pays the home owners when the wind blows the roof off and the developer goes into liquidation? The obvious answer is the insurers, assuming there is insurance cover, but when this rather dramatic event happened to some three-storey townhouses in Docklands, it raised important legal issues. Due to very strong winds, the roof of […]


Design defects. Who pays?

Gillian Birkby |

Who pays the employer when a consultant and a subcontractor are both partially responsible for a design defect? The “joint and several liability” rule means that in this situation the innocent employer can pursue either or both of them for 100 per cent. of the damages it is claiming, which is particularly useful if one […]


A matter of corporate life and death

Gillian Birkby |

Breaking health and safety law is no longer just a possible matter of life and death for individuals – it can be fatal for companies too. The courts have sent a clear signal that they are prepared to put companies out of business if they are convicted of causing death by breaching health and safety […]


Whiff of victory

Gillian Birkby |

When is a nuisance really just part of the normal give and take of modern life? Can an action in nuisance even be brought when a situation is also covered by the terms of an environmental permit? This was the difficult question addressed in the recent case of Derrick Barr vs Biffa Waste. It was […]


When health and safety gets personal

Gillian Birkby |

If you commission or allow construction work to take place on your commercial property, you do not normally expect to be sued for personal injury by people working for the building contractor. Health and safety legislation, however, makes this a real possibility and even presents the risk of personal liability for directors of companies who […]


Fladgate advises Swiss construction company on CHF200 million energy project

Gillian Birkby |

Fladgate LLP has acted for Zurich based client Hitachi Zosen Inova AG (Hitachi Zosen) on a contract for a new energy-from-waste plant with SITA UK (SITA). The plant is being developed for the South Tyne and Wear Waste Management Partnership as part of a PFI deal. Swiss based Hitachi Zosen has more than 400 installed […]


Too much information

Gillian Birkby |

Freedom of information legislation can expose firms contracting with public bodies to commercial disadvantage. A recent appeal court ruling recognises this. Openness and transparency are on the government’s agenda. So how does this affect companies that contract with the government – do they also have to be open and transparent about their contracts? What about […]