Mayhaven Healthcare Ltd v Bothma (t/a DAB Builders)
Citation: EWHC 2634 (TCC), 127 Con LR 1,  BLR 154
Nature of case:
The Claimant sought to appeal questions of law arising out of an award of an arbitrator. The Defendant, DAB, had undertaken building work for Mayhaven and as a result of adjudication in 2006, Mayhaven had been ordered to pay DAB certain sums. Believing that Mayhaven had failed to pay, DAB suspended the works and Mayhaven accepted the suspension as a repudiatory breach. In fact the sums awarded were paid in a subsequent valuation. The court held that a wrongful suspension of works under a building contract was not automatically a repudiatory breach of contract, but depended on the nature of the breach and the facts and circumstances of the case. There was a further issue for the court to determine relating to defective works. The arbitrator had found that DAB were not liable for defective foundations because the Contract Administrator had impliedly approved the works. The court rejected this argument and held that a contractor is not excused from compliance with his contractual obligations to carry out the works in accordance with the contract drawings by reason of the Contract Administrator’s failure to require the contractor to remedy defective works.