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CBUK want Multiplex evidence thrown out

A decision will be made this morning as to whether an expert report submitted by Multiplex should be removed from evidence in its trial against Cleveland Bridge.

The Darlington steelwork contractor - which breached its contract with the Australian firm when it walked off the Wembley Stadium project in 2004 - asked presiding judge Justice Jackson to disallow the evidence at the trial, claiming some of the details included were irrelevant to Multiplex’s claim.

Adrian Williamson QC, for CBUK, said there were points “clearly dealing beyond” his client’s repudiation.

The report was completed by Navigant Consulting director Martin Hunter.

Justice Jackson said: "It may be that some parts of this report go further than they should… [but] some parts are significantly related."

The request was one of several made by both parties in the High Court yesterday after the opening statements were wrapped up earlier this week.

Multiplex counsel Roger Stuart QC applied for an early ruling on one element of the case, in which CBUK is attempting to recoup more than £3 million for a composite of variations completed on the job.

Mr Stuart said an early decision would save significant time on evidence during the trial on an issue that was strictly a matter of law.

Mr Jackson said: "It is indeed tempting to give a ruling on a relatively short point of law, if that ruling has a chance of rendering unnecessary a chunk of evidence at this trial."

But he refused the request, adding that the losing party would no doubt take the matter to the Court of Appeal and so "driving a coach and horses through the smooth running of this trial".