Contractor Mowlem has received £17.3m from the Ministry of Defence after a six-year dispute over a £254m scheme in Bristol.
The High Court has ruled that, after a series of claims and counter-claims, Mowlem was entitled to £17.3m of a settlement offer of £20m.

Mowlem launched the claim, initially for £80m, because of an alleged breach of contract by the MoD after the project at its Abbey Wood headquarters in the city ran into difficulties. The dispute centred on the extent of Mowlem's liability for the delay.

The dispute went to arbitration last July, a month after an MoD offer to settle Mowlem's claim for £20m had been rejected.

Mowlem, however, decided to accept the MoD's offer after an interim decision by the arbitrator this summer.

The 130,000 m2 Abbey Wood complex, which houses nearly 5000 ministry officials, was opened by the Queen in 1996. It received praise for environmentally praiseworthy attributes but was four months late and criticised by parliament's public accounts committee.

  • Mowlem group chief executive John Gains said this week that order books were at a record level, and that maintenance firm Pall Mall was being successfully integrated.

    Gains said that prospects for the group remained good despite the uncertain economic background.