Hamish Lal Discusses Time Bar Clauses in Article for Building Magazine

Building magazine has published the article “Raising the time bar,” written by Akin Gump international arbitration partner Hamish Lal, which examines the enforceability of time bar clauses, a clause in a contract that sets a strict deadline for parties to bring a dispute to either a court or to arbitration, and how they can provide a defense against claims for additional time and money.

Lal cites two cases, which, he writes, “seem to show very different results.” In one of them, a court found that a notice provision, calling for a claim to be filed in writing within 28 days, was unreasonable pursuant to the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977. In the other, a court approved a provision that was somewhat vague with “no clear words that an employer’s failure to notify will prevent him recovering damages from [a] contractor.”

Lal concludes that the differing views by the courts leave it difficult to give “a straightforward binary answer.”