Mace and Keltbray making total of £29.5m of claims against PC Harrington Contractors relating to works at Nova Victoria

Nova at night

Contractor Mace and demolition specialist Keltbray are understood to be the firms behind nearly £30m of claims filed against concrete specialist PC Harrington Contractors.

Both claims are thought to relate to Land Securities’ £380m mixed-use Nova project in Victoria.

A document filed yesterday at Companies House by PC Harrington Contractors Ltd, which fell into administration in May, said a £28m claim had been made by a main contractor which “has not been admitted” and is “in dispute.”

The document, a statement of affairs for PC Harrington Contractors, also says that a subcontractor to the firm has made a separate claim for £1.5m, which is also being disputed.

A spokesperson for Keltbray confirmed the firm has made a claim “in the region of £1.5m” against PC Harrington relating to works carried out on Nova Victoria.

Meanwhile a source close to the situation told Building Mace had recently launched a claim of “around” £28m, also in relation to the Nova scheme, on which Mace is the main contractor. Mace declined to comment.

PC Harrington Contractors’ statement of affairs doesn’t say whether legal claims have been formally lodged in court.

However, the document reveals counter claims have been launched “against each of these commitments”.

The statement of affairs also says PC Harrington Contractors, which turned over £65m in the year March 2014, had debts of £28.1m when it fell into administration on May 5. It estimates it will be possible to recover £4m of the firm’s assets, and says overall it is £25.2m short of what it needs to pay creditors back.

Previous documents filed at Companies House estimated PC Harrington Contractors had debts to trade creditors of around £28.4m, with the statement of affairs stating that the amounts due have been adjusted as some of the debts have been taken over by its parent company PC Harrington Holdings Ltd and other firms in the PC Harrington group.

These figures are not thought to take into account any debts ultimately incurred from the two claims.

The concrete specialist was working for main contractor Mace on the Nova project in Victoria and its South Bank tower project at the time of going into administration. Mace was at the time reported to have begun talks with contractors J Coffey Construction and Kilnbridge to complete the jobs, after helping PC Harrington pay its suppliers on a number of projects.

PC Harrington also worked on the Design Museum’s new home at the former Commonwealth Insitute, the opening of which was delayed by more than a year, and had a role on the £200m Fitzroy Place job which led to major losses for main contractor Sir Robert McAlpine.

A spokesperson for Sir Robert McAlpine said the firm was not involved in any dispute with PC Harrington.

PC Harrington Contractors appointed KMPG at the beginning of May and related business Crystal Formwork was also placed into liquidation.

Parent company PC Harrington Holdings Ltd and group members P&E Harrington Plant Hire Ltd, Structural Systems (UK) Ltd, Slipform International Ltd and Hevilifts Ltd are still trading and are not part of the administration of PC Harrington Contractors or liquidation of Crystal Formwork.

PC Harrington Contractors’ administrator KPMG declined to comment.