Atkin Chambers has won the first Construction Act 1996 case to reach the House of Lords with a majority of three to two. The case considered whether provisions that suspend a contractor’s entitlement to payment in the event of insolvency fall foul of the Construction Act. Contractor Melville Dundas went into insolvency after making several applications for payment from developer Wimpey. In regard to one application, Wimpey had not issued a valid withholding notice, leading Melville Dundas to contend that it was entitled to payment. However, the House of Lords ruling entitles Wimpey to suspend any further payment irrespective of whether a withholding notice has been served. Robert Akenhead QC of Atkin was lead counsel for the appellants Wimpey, while Robert Howie QC of the Scottish bar represented the respondents.