Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Cantillon files £400,000 counter-claim in historic Strand scheme row

The main contractor building an 11-storey hotel on the site of the BBC’s first radio broadcast has fired a counter-claim at a subcontractor suing for £1.5m.

Contractor Cantillon has demanded damages from subcontractor O’Keefe Construction (Greenwich) totalling almost £400,000.

O’Keefe initiated legal action against Cantillon in August this year, claiming it was owed almost ВЈ1.5m for demolition work completed in December 2006.

The firm spent around 18 months demolishing old Marconi House in London’s Strand to make way for a Silken five-star hotel and apartments designed by Foster + Partners.

In a defence and counter-claim filed at the Technology and Construction Court, Cantillon claims that piling installed by O’Keefe was out of tolerance and the firm did not meet deadlines.


Cantillon files £400,000 counter-claim in historic Strand scheme row


It denied all claims made by O’Keefe in its lawsuit and said the firm had not justified its claim for £1,467,168.07.

Of particular issue is the presence of a sub-contract between O’Keefe and Cantillon.

O’Keefe claims it refused to go “back to back” with Cantillon’s main contract, while Cantillon claims express oral terms in the sub-contract meant the firm did agree to go back to back.

The Urvasco project has long been dogged by legal woes, with Cantillon taking Urvasco to adjudication for breach of contract in 2007.

Employers should heed worker complaints about retaliation