Former Wembley steel firm Cleveland Bridge has had its first attempt to overturn Multiplex’s victory in its £45m court case rejected by the Court of Appeal.

The court has refused to grant CBUK leave to appeal on the basis of written evidence. The steel contractor was found guilty in June of repudiating its contract with Multiplex by walking off site in August 2004. CBUK will now seek an oral hearing in an attempt to gain the right to appeal.

An oral hearing, which would be CBUK’s last chance to secure an appeal, would involve evidence from both the steel firm and Multiplex. It is likely to be heard at the end of the year.

A Cleveland Bridge spokesperson said that the firm had expected the case to go to an oral hearing because of the technical complexities. He said: “We are not at all surprised by this decision. We always planned to apply for an oral hearing.”