Construction Confederation furious at exclusion from document, which it says breaches its copyright

The RICS is facing a legal challenge by the Construction Confederation to its New Rules of Measurement, which were launched in March.

The rules, which were hailed as the most important development in basic quantity surveying in recent history, standardise the way the elements of a building are measured. The confederation, which represents contractors, is claiming that they incorporate material from a document that it co-authored with the RICS called the Standard Method of Measurement 7, which is an updated version of the first Standard Method of Measurement drawn up in 1922 and revised several times since through a joint committee.

The confederation is concerned that it will gain no royalties from sales of the New Rules, and is angry that they have been drawn up without its input.

John Bradley, the head of legal affairs at the confederation, said: “We’ve said we want an equal say and a share. The RICS has refused at the moment, which is why the confederation has had to consider its legal position – there’s a copyright issue to be answered.

“Obviously there has been a discussion in relation to our considerable loss of income.

But there are other issues like the representation contractors will have in determining the way works are to be measured and valued. That is fundamental.”

The first part of the New Rules has been published, but the section under dispute has not yet been released. Bradley admitted the confederation may use legal measures to prevent publication if it is not brought into the process. It is thought this could include seeking an injunction.

The confederation is in the process of breaking itself up; however, Bradley said that did not affect the legal position.

The RICS declined to comment.