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Michele De Gregorio and Sahana Jayakumar appear in the Court of Appeal on the question of when a collateral warranty is a “construction contract” under HGCRA 1996

This morning, the Court of Appeal handed down judgment in Abbey Healthcare (Mill Hill) Limited v Simply Construct (UK) LLP [2022] EWCA Civ 823. 


At first instance, the Respondent successfully resisted enforcement of an adjudication decision on the basis that the collateral warranty pursuant to which the adjudication was commenced, was not a “construction contract” within the meaning of s.104(1) of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 (the “HGCRA 1996”). 


On appeal, the Court of Appeal held by a majority of two-to-one, Stuart-Smith LJ dissenting, that the collateral warranty was a contract “for” the carrying out of construction operations in accordance with the statutory definition and that therefore, the adjudicator did have jurisdiction to decide the dispute referred to him. 


The judgment will be of interest to the construction industry as previously, the only judicial guidance available on the issue of collateral warranties and s.104(1) HGCRA 1996 was the High Court decision of Parkwood Leisure Ltd v Laing O’Rourke Wales and West Ltd [2013] EWHC 2665 (TCC). Practitioners will also find useful guidance within the judgments on the nature of a contractor’s obligations under a collateral warranty and more broadly, the circumstances in which an agreement will fall within the definition of a “construction contract” under s.104(1) of the HGCRA 1996.


Michele De Gregorio and Sahana Jayakumar, instructed by VWV, appeared on behalf of the Respondent.

For a fuller analysis of the Court of Appeal’s decision, please see the commentary by Michele De Gregorio and Sahana Jayakumar here.

A copy of the judgment can be found here.

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