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Manual of construction agreements

by Richard Cockram, M.A.

  Continually updated resource : Updating loose-leaf

The ultimate statement....   (2014-05-25)


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by PhillipTaylor




Edited by Richard Cockram


Two Volume Binders: Loose Leaf




ISBN: 978 0 85308 228 6


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An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers



This excellent loose leaf work is best described as the definitive practitioner’s guide to construction drafting and is a pre-requisite for those members practising at the Construction Bar. As to be expected, it’s the complete guide to all aspects of the relevant law and practice for construction agreements and there is nothing better.


In common with other publishing companies, Jordan Publishing, including their Family Law section, has produced a series of fundamental loose leaf works which concentrate on particular legal disciplines relevant for specialist Counsel - we cannot do without these works to carry out our professional duties properly as they contain everything which is current about a specific aspect of law for which legal research is undertaken.


Most lawyers will remember from their student and early training days how much reliance can and must be placed on up to date, concise and detailed works which we need for court, for Opinions and for drafting.  We are pleased to say that Jordans are the leader publishers in the field with their excellent reference and research material.


Richard Cockram’s ‘Manual of Construction Agreements’ is a world leader for Construction Law with its regular updates which is the basis for this loose leaf reference work format. There is also an online service which is particularly relevant to today’s savvy web user although we recognize that some users will have initial difficulties with the navigation of the various sites so it is a matter of getting used to the new way of doing things.


The general advice given is to practice using the site and all its sub areas either on your PC or the tablet.  It is rather like getting used to a new mobile telephone hand set as they all have their different little querks. But you will get there with a good understanding of what the online system offers quite quickly as practice makes perfect!


Can we offer a word of warning about the loose leaf works in general!  Do not expect too much until you are conversant with where things are in the volumes.  Remember that there is a tremendous amount of information available because this is where the law is stored and always be aware that the concept of ‘ignorance of the law is no excuse’ is one of those little legal fictions which politicians and judges love because we all know that you cannot possibly be aware of much of what in these loose leaf files which is why legal research is needed in the first place.


The other main point to be aware of is that some practitioners will assume, erroneously, that the online side of the work will offer you everything you may need for court.  This, of course, is not the case.  The loose leaf reference makes it easier to copy pages for court, but don’t forget that your judge may not use computers regularly (or even like them). 


And then there’s the court service itself which is currently being reshaped in the post ‘legal aid for all’ era so that these Jordans facilities will come to be accepted as a brilliant step forward because they are becoming more common place in chambers, and the courts and for ADR including video links as they come into regular usage to avoid time delays and travel costs.


The manual has two binders.  Binder 1 has a table of cases at the beginning and then launches into Part A which is the ‘Law and Practice’ with specific paragraph numbering and finally an Index at the back of the first binder.


Binder 2 has a sleeve at the front for CD updates and contains Part B which comprises “Forms”.  This binder is where you find the ‘hands on’ detail which you will need and thankfully it is updated very regularly as part of the service which Jordans offer. Right at the back you have the update form which allows you to manually list the changes as old loose leaf pages are removed and new ones added to reflect changes in law and practice.


Construction drafting is described as a central part of commercial property transactions which can raise complex issues of law, interpretation and procedure. 


Practitioners in the last few decades have found that the easiest way (for the moment) to address these issues lies with rapid access (online or paper versions) to draft forms of agreement and specialist expertise based on a sound understanding of industry practice, case law authorities and both primary and secondary legislation. 


You get all of this with the Manual which remains the ultimate statement on the subject and there is nothing to beat it!

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