Building Magazine Publishes Hamish Lal Article on Determining Fault When a Loss Occurs

Hamish Lal, a partner in the international arbitration practice at Akin Gump, has written the article “Wrong but not responsible,” which was published by Building magazine. Lal discusses a recent case before the UK High Court that he says, “serves as a reminder that just because a party is at fault does not necessarily make it responsible for a loss.”

The case in question involved a construction project in London that “suffered a number of problems and took longer and cost more than the [homeowners] expected or would have wished.” As a result, Lal writes, the homeowners argued in court that the defendants were negligent and “had failed to properly manage and/or advise on the tender process.”

Lal observes that, all too often, “a claimant is concerned with the defendant’s wrongdoing, and the focus moves away from the true cause(s) of the loss suffered.” In this instance, however, the court held that, on the facts, the defendant had not been negligent “and, even if it had, the claimants’ case would have failed on the issue of causation.”

The court, Lal adds, “was unimpressed by the claimants’ arguments.” As a result, he concludes, “the tangible clash between strict codified rules in law and the practical realities of creativity continues.”

To read the full article, please click here.