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Multiplex scores big win in High Court battle

Multiplex has won a significant victory in its battle to recover millions of pounds on its loss-making contract to rebuild Wembley stadium.

A High Court judge today found that its former steelwork contractor Cleveland Bridge was in repudiatory breach of its contract when it left the job in August 2004.

And Mr Justice Jackson told the Technology & Construction Court in London that Multiplex and Cleveland Bridge did not agree a final valuation of works carried out up to the middle of February 2004.

Lawyers for CBUK argued that this valuation was £32.66 million but the judge told the court: '£32.66 million was agreed as a figure that Multiplex was prepared to pay but not as a final valuation.'

His decision on the valuation effectively means that Multiplex acted lawfully when it issued CBUK with a £14 million 'negative valuation' - a certificate saying it had overpaid CBUK - on July 16 2004.

But he criticised the way Multiplex went about issuing the negative valuation calling it a 'ruthless but lawful strategy'.

Multiplex has lost over £200 million on the scheme which it expects to hand over to it client, Wembley National Stadium, at the end of September.

The amount of money it will be able to recoup from CBUK is set to be decided between the two parties over the summer. Multiplex had been chasing damages of up to £30 million.

By David Rogers