Vivergo Fuels Ltd v Redhall Engineering Solutions Ltd

Citation: EWHC 4030 (TCC); [2013] All ER (D) 156 (Dec)

Nature of case:

Vivergo was the purchaser and eventual operator of a biofuel plant, and Redhall was the contractor engaged to carry out piping and mechanical work.  Following delays, which Vivergo alleged were exacerbated by Redhall’s failure to provide a programme of works, Vivergo requested that Redhall rectify that omission.  Before any programme was provided, Vivergo terminated the contract.  Redhall then provided the programme, but was subsequently barred from the site.

The issues in the High Court hearing were:

1. Whether Redhall had been entitled to an extension of time;

2. Whether Vivergo’s request was a valid notification, and whether it had been complied with within the 14 day period stipulated in the contract;

3. Whether Redhall was in repudiatory breach, and whether it had been accepted; and

4. Whether Vivergo was in repudiatory breach, and whether it had been accepted

Ramsey J held that Redhall had been entitled to an extension of time, of 15.23 working days. Secondly, while Vivergo’s request was a valid notification under the contract, Redhall had fully complied with it within 14 days of its being issued; Vivergo therefore had no right to terminate the contract under the relevant clause.  Nor were Redhall in repudiatory breach, and in any case Vivergo had not accepted any such breach as repudiating the contract.  Finally, Vivergo was itself in repudiatory breach in barring Redhall from the site; that breach had been accepted by Redhall, at which point the contract terminated.

Link to Judgment

Counsel

Marcus Taverner QC
Gaynor Chambers
Paul Bury

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