Clifford Chance claims win in Wembley roof row

Clifford Chance claims win in Wembley roof row” />Clifford Chance has won a partial Court of Appeal victory for Australian construction company Multiplex in the ongoing Wembley Stadium saga.

In what was the eleventh and final preliminary issue to go before the courts ahead of this March’s trial, the Appeal Lords overturned part of a decision on work done on the stadium’s roof.

The Australian contractor kickstarted the latest courtroom clash after challenging Mr Justice Jackson’s High Court decision last January that Multiplex was responsible for the cost and risk inherent in the temporary roof work.

The Court of Appeal, led by Lord Justice May, however, held that the builder was not responsible for certain jobs that had been sub-contracted to steel firm Cleveland Bridge, which Multiplex took off the project in 2004.

May LJ, along with Lord Justice Pill and Lady Justice Smith, was persuaded by the arguments of Multiplex’s lead barrister Roger Stewart QC of 4 New Square.

Stewart argued that, under its original subcontract, the design and fabrication of all temporary works was Cleveland Bridge’s responsibility.

May LJ said: “I would allow the appeal in part and hold that the fabrication and supply of all the temporary roof steelwork was omitted from Cleveland Bridge’s subcontract works.”

Stewart claimed that Jackson J failed to properly understand the terms of a February 2004 agreement between Multiplex and Cleveland.

According to Multiplex, it agreed to pay Cleveland Bridge a lump sum of £12m for a list of subcontracted projects, and the erection of temporary work fell within the schedule.

Stewart led Paul Buckingham of Keating Chambers, instructed by Clifford Chance partner Alex Panayides.

Adrian Williamson QC and Lucy Garrett of Keating Chambers were instructed by partner Yuri Botiuk from Reid Minty.