Multiplex appeared at High Court this week for a pre-trial review over Wembley row with M&E contractor Honeywell
Multiplex and its M&E subcontractor Honeywell are in dispute over a decision to allow the subcontractor “time at large”, which frees it from a contractual completion date, and increased the risk of an even later completion.
Multiplex’s legal representatives appeared at the Technology and Construction Court for a pre-trial review on Tuesday.
The flurry of activity comes as the Australian construction group signalled that it will pull out of third-party client work and, as a result, is parting company with Martin Tidd, managing director of the construction arm. It is also making a round of redundancies.
Tidd said: “We had a gap in the revenues and either we had to look for more third-party work or just concentrate on the integrated model [whereby Multiplex builds only for its own property developments]. I’m disappointed but I’ve got over that and am now concentrating on restructuring the business.”
Tidd added that he wanted to see through the Wembley project and reach financial close on a PFI hospital project in Peterborough.
He said: “The change in strategy must be done smoothly and be respectful of people.”
He added that redundancies would follow as the group moved to new head offices. He said: “The consequences of changing the business model will be that we will need a smaller head office.”
He would not be drawn on how many would leave but did say that he had brought 150 staff to the business.
At the High Court review meeting this week, Mr Justice Jackson gave the parties leave to amend their pleadings by next Wednesday. During the three-day trial Multiplex will argue that Honeywell is not entitled to the “time at large”.
Multiplex will also appear in the High Court next Thursday to defend claims made by Wembley National Stadium Limited. The client has been awarded more than £20m by adjudicators.