Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to the newest version of your browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of Construction News, please enable cookies in your browser.

Welcome to the Construction News site. As we have relaunched, you will have to sign in once now and agree for us to use cookies, so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

The mud begins to fly over Wembley


WHILE everyone still talks about partnering and non-adversarial construction, the latest twist in the Wembley saga provides a startling insight into what life is really like on many projects.

Court documents lodged by Cleveland Bridge last week contain a few choice phrases not often heard at Constructing Excellence seminars.

Their talk of an 'Armageddon' plan by main contractor Multiplex to cripple Cleveland is a long way removed from the partnering buzz words championed by industry reformers.

Of course Cleveland's documents tell only one half of the story. But Multiplex is sure to be far from complimentary about its subcontractor when its counterclaim goes in next week.

Wembley is the highest-profile job in the country and is being built in a supposedly new era of contracting relationships. But it has degenerated into an old-fashioned ding-dong between the main contractor and lead subbie.

That is a stark warning to others that, when losses start to stack-up up on a job, contractors often revert back to the bad old days of mud slinging and only the lawyers are left happy with the ensuing court cases.