Contractor seeks repayment after having to pay liquidated damages while project overran

Bovis Lend Lease has launched a £4m legal battle against the trustees of a Harley Street hospital.

The dispute centres around the £11m refurbishment of the London Clinic at Devonshire Place.

Bovis is seeking repayment after having to pay liquidated damages of £40,000 a week for over a year after the project overran.

Work began in February 2004, and should have been finished 70 weeks later, but a High Court writ claims delays caused by the London Clinic, meant it overran.

The clinic's design team reportedly failed to resolve a fundamental and major discrepancy over ceiling heights, and additional design changes led to the delays.

The London Clinic charged Bovis £40,000 a week for 54 weeks, and refused to grant any more than a four-week time extension, the writ says.

A dispute arose when Bovis asked for a 44.2-week time extension, and an adjudicator was brought in to decide the issues.

The adjudicator subsequently ruled in favour of Bovis and ordered the London Clinic to pay the developer over £4m, and fees totalling nearly £30,000.

However, the writ is claiming that the London Clinic failed to pay the money due, and Bovis has turned to the High Court to enforce the award and order the clinic to pay.