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Hotels

Client: Joint venture investment consortium
Situation: A 500 room beach front 5 star international hotel including 3 storeys of condominium apartments located in the Caribbean was under construction and approaching completion when the project was hit by a category 5 hurricane. The hurricane caused extensive damage to the project, partly as a result of wind speeds causing damage together with flying debris, and also as a result of the sea surge which flooded substantial parts of the island and flooded the entire site and ground floor, together with all of the contractor’s temporary accommodation and containers of materials. Furthermore, the intense rain fall flooded down through incomplete roof apertures, causing extensive water ingress in to the heart of the building. A dispute arose with the projects insurers as to the extent of work required to be remedied as a result of the hurricane, and concerning how such work could be differentiated from other work caused by failures of the D&B contractor in respect of either design or workmanship. Probyn Miers undertook a thorough and detailed analysis, advised on the position, and prepared expert reports for the ICC International Arbitral Tribunal. We also prepared a forensic video fly-through of the project in order to illustrate to the Arbitral Tribunal the full extent of water penetration in to the building.
Action: Our investigations focused on numerous different aspects of the design and construction, including flat and pitched metal roofing, glazing and aluminium window systems, curtain walling, external walling and render, stone floor tiling, and integration of M&E.
Result:  The case ultimately settled during the hearing.

 

Client: Joint appointment on behalf of ICC Arbitral Tribunal
Situation: A member of Probyn Miers was appointed as the ICC Arbitral Tribunal Expert Architect for the purpose of investigating and reporting on an extensive schedule of more than 700 defects in this international hotel in Kiev, Ukraine. The hotel was required to be designed and built to meet a combination of European and International standards including Russian, Ukrainian and German standards.
 Action: During the course of several site visits we met with the parties and agreed a systematic process of research, investigation and opening up where required, leading to substantial agreement on many items. This included investigations in to the acoustic performance of internal walls, roofing and rain water drainage, external walling and render.
 Result: The hearing took place and an Award was published.

 

Client: Solicitors for the main contractor’s insurer
Situation: Artificial stone cladding panels started to fall off a newly completed urban hotel, following which its entire exterior had to be re-clad.  Allocation of liability depended on whether faulty design or faulty installation of the panel fixings was the predominant cause.
Action: PM analysed the original subcontract drawings and details, together with many photographs taken during remedial investigation.  PM found anomalies and deficiencies in the fixings’ original setting out, and in consequent redesigns during site works.
Result: Although some significant design failings were identified, the workmanship itself was so extensively defective that failure would have occurred whatever design had been followed.  On the basis of PM’s findings, Counsel advised that workmanship could reasonably be regarded as the predominant cause.

 

Client: International hotel operator
Situation: This case concerned a main contractor’s claim against an employer following a payment set-off in respect of defective works.  Defects in the floor construction of a hotel restaurant kitchen had resulted in extensive cracking of tiles.  Remedial works required closure of the restaurant for an extended period. Probyn Miers opinion was required on the likely causes of the defects and resulting damage, including comment on the suitability of the design.
Action: Probyn Miers produced a report for adjudication.
Result: On technical issues, the adjudicator’s decision was in favour of the employer.

 

Client: Design and build contractor
Situation: The contractor was faced with allegations of widespread and severe defects in the construction of a large hotel as the results of defective design and/or poor workmanship.  PM was appointed to examine the design provided as part of the Employer’s Requirements, and the design as built, and comment on the likely cause and the severity of the defects observed.
Action: PM provided a report on issues of design and workmanship, and gave evidence in the ensuing arbitration.
Result: The arbitrator’s award was in favour of contractor.

 

Client: Architect
Situation: Feasibility studies, outline and detail designs had been prepared for a vacant site in the same town as the clients’ existing hotel. The architect was appointed on a standard RIBA appointment.  Designs for two different schemes were prepared by the architect.  The clients withheld substantial fees for both schemes.  The architect referred the dispute to adjudication.
Action: Probyn Miers was appointed after the adjudication had started to give expert opinion on the architect’s performance, on whether contracted services had been completed and on whether the architect had been instructed to prepare a second scheme, which would entitle him to additional fees (which would be calculated at hourly rates).  The architect had been appointed on a RIBA standard form.  The clients maintained that the architect had not followed their instructions on the first scheme or alternatively that the resulting designs did not comply with their brief.  Investigation showed that the architect was entitled to substantial additional fees.  The first scheme incorporated the clients’ initial aspirations for the development and it had been used by them at the same time as the second scheme was developed from a brief revised by the clients after receipt of advice from hotel consultants.
Result: The architect was awarded substantial fees by the adjudicator.

 

 

 


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