Construction Contracts and Staff

by Kidd Rapinet on September 9, 2009

A recent High Court decision held it was illegal not to tell a potential customer that a key employee had handed in his notice and would not be working on the project for 2 of the 3 years of its life. Fitzroy Robinson are architects and they assigned Jeremy Blake as project leader because he was the main reason the defendants in the case approached FR to do the work.

Graeme Bellenger a partner in Kidd Rapinet says:

“Often customers want the person not the company and that was the case here. The company ensured Mr Blake was in on all the precontract negotiations too and the project would take three weeks to finish. Before FR was awarded the contract, however, Mr Blake resigned and agreed to work a year’s notice. This meant he would only be project leader for a third of the project. FR did not notify the customer as they thought that otherwise they would not win the work. The High Court said that as there was a conscious decision not to tell and this amounted to ‘fraudulent misrepresentation and deceit’.”

Many of the services supply and IT contracts we draft or negotiate contain clauses about key personnel and whether they can be changed with or without the consent of the buyer. We can advise a buyer or a seller on how best to protect their position. There will be a further trial in December to assess the damages.

For further information or advice on what to include in your contracts about key workers call Graeme Bellenger on 020 7024 8064.