We don’t owe you diddly-squat!
That’s what Mott MacDonald is effectively telling Brookfield Multiplex in its 600-page defence to the contractor’s £253 million Wembley stadium law suit.
The court papers are a harsh and critical account, which basically say: ‘We weren’t responsible for screwing up this up. You were.
‘You and your subbies had a significant part to play in the design, you were slow in getting back to us when variations – which you always knew were going to happen – were made, and you have even publicly admitted that a substantial amount of the delay and disruption was caused by Cleveland Bridge. So you can’t blame us.
‘…And, hey, while we are at it, we still have more than £250,000 of invoices you haven’t paid us yet!’
I haven’t had the chance to count them, but I think it will be interesting to see how many times Mott’s counsel used the word “denies” throughout the voluminous stack of defence documents:
- “Mott denies that it was negligent in relation to the alleged erection sequence”;
- “Mott denies that its design of the indicative connections was negligent”;
- “Mott denies both allegations [relating to the cost plan] which are inconsistent with each other”;
- “Mott denies that it was in breach or negligent in providing information to CBUK, as alleged”;
- “Mott denies that it was in breach or negligent… in preparing initial design information [for the bowl]”;
- “Even if Mott was in breach (which is denied) the hypothetical losses claimed by Multiplex were not caused as a result”.
And, well, you get the gist…
This is a battle about not only all the technical detail, and whose job it was to ensure all the pegs fit into the box perfectly, but it is again – like the Multiplex vs Cleveland Bridge tussle last year – about principles, dignity and being able to walk away proclaiming (loudly) that you were not the reason the FA Cup final wasn’t played at Wembley in 2006.
And while there has been many a water-cooler discussion as to whether or not this dispute will go so far as to actually be tried in a courtroom, if Mott’s defence is anything to go by, this bitter argument just won’t be settled any other way.