Bishop & Sewell LLP Senior Litigation Associate Shams Rahman successfully defended a claim brought by a major scaffolding contractor against our client, Henley Homes PLC which resulted in a trial at Court.
The Court found that award winning developer Henley Homes PLC was not liable for the payment of any invoices sent by the claimant H&B Contracts (Holdings) Limited, in relation to historic hire charges, scaffolding removed from its development site during the course of an alleged theft, and/or subsequent and ongoing hire charges at the site. The Court held that Henley Homes PLC had correctly terminated H&B’s written contract and under the relevant terms of business, no payment was due to H&B. H&B has been ordered to pay Henley Homes PLC’s substantial costs of successfully defending the claims.
This case demonstrates that in important development and construction contracts, it is not sufficient merely to rely upon passing terms of business and any claims for payment under the invoices must be fully supported by other, additional, documentary evidence in support.
The Court held that although the onus was on H&B to satisfy the court of its various claims, on the balance of probability it failed to do so. In particular, H&B had argued that it was also due payment on the basis of “quantum meruit” being a fair payment for the works undertaken by it. However, this claim was also dismissed because H&B had failed to produce any relevant evidence of a fair valuation whereas the Court held that Henley Homes PLC had undertaken its own fair valuation exercise in order to resolve the dispute and the figures could not be disputed. This demonstrates the need to ascertain expert valuation on complex issues regarding costings in construction and building works.