Judge rejects Multiplex’s attempt to bring forward trial with M&E firm Honeywell

Multiplex has lost a battle in its attempt to tie a key subcontractor at Wembley stadium to a fixed completion date.

Multiplex had accused M&E specialist Honeywell of taking advantage of an adjudication ruling that it was not bound by a contractual completion date to delay commissioning works.

A four-day trial is scheduled for February, but in a hearing this week Multiplex asked the court to bring it forward to stop Honeywell holding up the project.

Multiplex said there was concern that Honeywell was “artificially slowing down work”. The accusations were based on a witness statement from Ashley Muldoon, Multiplex’s project manager at Wembley.

Honeywell responded that any delay was the result of “extraneous causes” and that it “took exception to the suggestion that it was artificially slowing down work to exert pressure because of time at large”.

Mr Justice Jackson ruled that it was impossible to prove that Honeywell had slowed down progress because of the adjudicator’s decision. He rejected Multiplex’s application.

Meanwhile it has emerged that a second Wembley electrical firm, Phoenix Electrical, has been bought out in a deal that will wipe out some of its debts.

Phoenix had been hit by payment difficulties with a labour agency called Beaver Management Services (BMS). It has emerged this week that Peter Elsom, a businessman with close links to BMS, bought Phoenix this summer in a deal that is understood to have settled the claims between the two firms.

Lee Compton, Phoenix’s managing director, said: “Peter Elsom doesn’t have any formal business relationship with BMS, but has a good past relationship with it.”

Compton denied that the deal meant Phoenix was obliged to use the agency’s services in future.