Wembley steel subcontractor fails to overturn High Court ruling in contract dispute with Multiplex

The long-running legal battle between Cleveland Bridge (CBUK) and Multiplex over Wembley stadium looks to be coming to a close after the steelwork contractor lost its appeal hearing today.

At the end of a two-day hearing, judges dismissed CBUK’s appeal of certain sections of last June’s High Court verdict.

In January, CBUK was given leave to appeal against the general verdicts on valuations and the rigidity of its original contract.

The appeal centred on three points of Justice Jackson’s 2006 verdict. One, the effect of variations in the subcontract; two, the question of valuations of those variations; and three, the meaning and effect of certain subcontractual clauses.

At the conclusion of a hearing dominated by complex contractual wrangling, Lord Justice May said the disputed subcontract “must have been regarded as workable” when it was signed but conceded: “The entire contract debate is to a great extent a sideshow of little or no importance.”

The decision means CBUK will be unable to contest that a valuation of £32.66m for its work to February 2004 was subject to clawback, and that it was in repudiatory breach of contract by walking off the site that summer.