Electrical specialist Emcor Drake & Scull has lost a £5m legal claim against Balfour Beatty over work carried out on the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

The London-based firm claimed that the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary Joint Venture, which included Balfour Beatty, had breached its contract to provide complete

tender drawings, which should have shown how the electrical services were to be integrated into the building.

Emcor argued that it incurred extra cost because of subsequent design changes.

When it submitted its bid, Emcor said the cost of installing electrical services was based on the understanding that the tender documents it received from the joint venture would be “fully co-ordinated and approved for construction”. This wording was incorporated into the subcontract.

However, the joint venture argued that under the subcontract Emcor had a duty to consider the positioning of the services, that it had agreed to “fine-tuning” the designs and that it was obliged to satisfy itself “as to the position, dimensions and suitability of any previous works”.

Emcor is considering the decision and sees no reason not to pursue its action

Emcor statement

Lord Drummond Young said in his judgment on 28 October that the wording of the subcontract prevented any claim by the subcontractor on the grounds that it received incorrect or incomplete information.

In a statement this week the company indicated that it was considering an appeal against the decision.

It said: “Emcor is in a dispute with the ERJV in respect of its entitlements concerning the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. Part of the action concerns a preliminary issue, which Lord Drummond Young has just passed judgment on.

“Emcor is considering the decision with its legal team and will respond as appropriate. At the present time Emcor sees no reason not to pursue its action against the ERJV to secure its entitlement.”