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Another Wembley row hits court

The stadium’s main concrete contractor takes Australian firm to the High Court over sign-off wrangles

A fourth legal row over Wembley Stadium has reached the High Court with concrete firm PC Harrington saying the value of its original contract went up by more than £13 million.

The figure is contained in documents filed at the Technology and Construction Court which can now be made public.

PCH signed a £45 million contract with Multiplex for the work in September 2002. But it says the value of the deal went up by £13.4 million.

The latest dispute means Multiplex has ended up in court with its principal steel and concrete contractors on the job.

A trial to decide how much Multiplex and its former steel contractor CBUK owe each other is due to begin next spring.

The Australian builder won the key parts of a High Court trial with the Darlington contractor last year.

Now Multiplex and PCH are heading for the High Court later this month. PCH will attempt to stop an adjudication on a row over floor tolerances at the stadium.

Multiplex claims PCH owes it Ł2 million for this part of its contract. The concrete firm says it does not.

In the documents PCH adds: “By a letter dated 24 September 2007, the claimant [PCH] sought an undertaking from the defendant not to proceed with its proposed adjudication on the grounds that the defendant had no claim or entitlement to recover the sum of £2,070,110.50.”

The issue is one of the reasons Multiplex and PCH have not signed off the final account. The hearing - known as a Part 8 - is set to be heard on 20 November.

The pair have clashed before. Multiplex alleged at last year’s High Court trial with CBUK that PCH poured the wrong sort of concrete into the bases of the arch. A further dispute arose over problems with the drainage system on which PCH was called in to carry out remedial work.

Multiplex and CBUK are due to meet at the Court of Appeal in December where Multiplex is appealing a decision that CBUK should not be held liable for the cost of the temporary roof works carried out by replacement firm Hollandia.

And Multiplex has recently filed a counterclaim against German ceiling specialist Lindner which filed a writ in August.

What has reached the high court so far

Multiplex and Cleveland Bridge

The pair began their battle in November 2004 with Multiplex claiming £38 million and CBUK around half that amount. Multiplex won the key parts of the first trial last year. A second trial to decide how much they owe each other will start next March.

Multiplex and Honeywell

The US building controls firm issued a writ in June claiming Multiplex’s bungling cost it £34 million. A month later Multiplex hit back seeking £13.9 million in damages.

Multiplex and Lindner

In August, the German ceiling specialist issued a claim for £5.8 million saying it was entitled to time at large or extension of time. Multiplex counterclaimed last month saying it had overpaid Lindner by £2 million.

Multiplex and PC Harrington

A technical hearing on a financial dispute between the pair is due to be heard at the Technology & Construction Court in London later this month.