We acted on the instructions of insurers for civil and structural engineers in two claims brought against various construction professionals by the freeholder and the tenant arising out of the design and construction of a high-bay distribution warehouse. The actions were managed together by the Technology & Construction Court and required the instruction of various experts to address liability (geotechnical and structural engineers) and quantum (valuers, quantity surveyors, logistics experts and forensic accountants). The claims gave rise to a number of complex legal and technical issues including contractual limitation, approaches to quantum and alternative remedial schemes. The quantum of the claim potentially involved the demolition of the warehouse and re-building which would have brought the quantum to significantly outside the various limits of indemnity threatening the viability of the professional firms. Using expert logistics evidence we were able to demonstrate how there were very much cheaper ways to store and distribute manufactured goods from an adjacent site.
Following in depth discussions at two mediations, it was apparent that there were different drivers for the landlord and tenant and ultimately we were able to bring about a settlement which involved a transfer in ownership of the warehouse instead of sticking with the traditional approach to damages. This avoided a long and expensive trial and a settlement within our reserving parameters.