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One year limitation provision upheld by Court of Appeal

A one year bespoke contractual limitation clause was held to be enforceable by the Court of Appeal in the recent case of Inframatrix Developments Ltd v Dean Construction Ltd. The Appeal Court upheld HHJ Behren’s decision to strike out the Claimant developer’s claim against the Defendant contractors for losses arising out of a contract for the construction of a camera factory in the North East. The Claimant argued that the trigger date for limitation (‘one year from Practical Completion of the Services’) had yet to occur. The Court held that proceedings were commenced outside the one year period provided for by the contract. It dismissed the Claimant’s construction of the contract and its ‘ingenious’ argument that attending site to inspect alleged defects extended the time from which limitation ran.

Members of Crown Office Chambers, Jason Evans-Tovey and Crispin Winser acted for the appellant developer. The successful contractor was represented by Kim Franklin.

This decision has generated interest among  legal commentators. Although 1 year limitation provisions are rare they are nonetheless enforceable.

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