PracticePeople In PracticeCommons pays £10m in Portcullis case

Commons pays £10m in Portcullis case

A National Audit Office report has revealed the House of Commons has paid out nearly £10m in out-of-court settlements and legal costs in a dispute over the construction of new parliamentary building Portcullis House.

The settlement was paid to Harmon CFEM Facades after the company had alleged a breach of procurement regulations. A High Court ruled the Commons had acted unfairly against the building contractors in the way it let the tender for the windows and bronze cladding.

The five-year legal battle cost the House Pounds 4.6m in legal fees, while the final out of court settlement was Pounds 5.26m, after Harmon’s originally claimed Pounds 17.5m in damages.

The NAO report also revealed the House was in talks with London Underground Ltd to recoup payments of over Pounds 3m in compensation made to contractors after the late handover of the Portcullis site.

It is alleged that London Underground’s delay in its work on the Westminster Tube station prevented contractors from beginning their work on Portcullis House.

The new parliamentary building is estimated to have cost Pounds 223m, and is the most expensive office block in Britain for its size.

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