Whatever your experience, expertise and specialism, Delay and Disruption in Construction Contracts is an authoritative reference resource for all construction law practitioners. It not only provides comprehensive coverage of all aspects of its title subject, but also covers the historical background, compares some 97 different standard form contracts, and discusses case law from a variety of jurisdictions.

Keith Pickavance, chief editor of the book’s first four editions, is synonymous with any discussion about delay and disruption. The distinguished editorial team is now led by his erstwhile assistant editor Andrew Burr, but Pickavance remains a contributor.

The fifth edition adds more than 100 new authorities plus chapters on dispute boards and mandatory laws in international construction contracts. These contain interesting comparisons of the treatment of damages and practical completion under English and several civil law jurisdictions. The section on building information modelling (BIM) has been significantly expanded with reference to the BIM taskforce’s range of contractual and related documentation relevant to UK government procurement, and some pointers on their incorporation into standard form contracts to ensure consistency with existing standard forms. Commentary of adjudication in the UK has been expanded and updated, and now has a chapter of its own. Another new feature is the online resource of over 100 bespoke figures that further illuminate the concepts in the book and which are available as downloads.

Andrew Burr

£375, Informa Law from Routledge

This 2016 edition has not been updated to reference ‘recent’ amendments and revisions to the standard forms of construction contracts, which include the JCT 2011 suite of contracts (except for a comparison of the CIOB Complex Projects Contract and the JCT Major Projects Form), the ICE7 2011 and IChemE 5th edition 2013. The preface puts this deficiency down to ‘insufficient time’ and says an attempt will be made to rectify this by way of a future supplement, directing readers to various websites in the meantime.

This means that while there is extensive reference throughout the text to JCT63 and JCT 2005 contracts, the 2011 forms are only mentioned as ‘later series’. I acknowledge that the main changes incorporated into the JCT 2011 contract suite, and other contemporaneous standard forms, were to deal with statutory revisions to the payment mechanism and adjudication for UK construction contracts – not the central subject matter of this book – and the section on adjudication covers the current regime. Nevertheless, after five years this omission and the use of ‘recent’ in this context seems a bit of an own goal for a book on delay.

On the positive side, the implications of Akenhead J’s seminal judgment in Walter Lilly and Co Ltd v MacKay of 2012 and Ramsey J’s decision in 2013’s Vivergo Fuels Ltd v Redhall Engineering Solutions Ltd have been considered and incorporated into discussions on global claims, programme analysis, quantification, reasonable settlement and the effective use of experts.

The book is £375 in hardback. Ebook options are also available to purchase.  If you already have a well-flagged fourth edition and good access to online legal support and articles you might hesitate to upgrade; but otherwise I recommend this book as an essential reference tool – and not solely for when you are dealing with delay and disruption claims.

 Pam Allardice is director of construction at Howes Percival, Leicester