Construction Disputes

The Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 (Construction Act 1996) applies to construction contracts. A construction contract is widely defined in the Construction Act 1996 as an agreement with a person for any of the following:

  • The carrying out of construction operations either by one of the parties or a sub-contractor; or
  • Providing labour for the carrying out of construction operations.

As well as holding up a developer’s progress, construction disputes can cause damage to business relationships and reputations. Common construction disputes include:

  • Claims of negligent work regarding build quality, materials and specifications;
  • Payment disputes between developers and contractors;
  • Errors and disagreements in building contracts.

The Construction Act 1996 is intended to ensure that payments are made promptly and that disputes are resolved swiftly. It includes, for example, the statutory right for parties to a construction contract to refer their dispute to adjudication.

boss sitting in office

I am a Partner at Naylor Solicitors, a law firm specialising in property disputes and resolution. I would be delighted to assist with any queries you may have. Please get in touch to arrange a no obligation consultation.

James Naylor

How do you resolve a construction dispute?

Construction disputes can be resolved through negotiation, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) or, if necessary, litigation.

Adjudication, a form of ADR, is an effective means of achieving the aim of maintaining cash flow during construction projects. It is also appropriate for resolving financial disputes relating to, for example, delay and disruption claims, extension of time claims and final account disputes.

Under the Construction Act 1996, the statutory right to adjudicate is implied into the contract. The referring party should first give the notice of adjudication to every other party to the contract, and then appoint an adjudicator.

The adjudicator must reach a decision within 28 days of the referral, although the parties may agree to a longer period after referral of the dispute. An adjudicator’s decision is enforceable until the dispute is finally determined by legal proceedings, arbitration or agreement. 

If the losing party does not comply with the adjudicator’s Decision, a party may apply to the Technology and Construction Court to enforce it.

We can act for either the developer or the contractor in a construction dispute. We aim to deliver a swift and economical resolution so you can get your project back on track with minimal fuss.

Can I sue a contractor?

If your contractor does not complete the work to a professional standard, you may be able to make a claim against them based on:

  • Breach of a contractual term (expressed in the contract or implied by statute); and/or
  • Breach of duty of care based on the tort of negligence

In contract, the contractor’s professional standard may be expressed in the contract or implied by statute. For example, it will usually be implied that the service will be carried out with reasonable care and skill.

 In negligence, the standard of care expected of a contractor will be that of the reasonable competent contractor. That standard may be raised higher, for example, if a contractor holds itself out as being a specialist in a particular area.

A successful claim would generally entitle you to monetary damages to compensate you for the loss caused by the contractor’s negligence or breach of contract. For example, as a result of the contractor’s actions, your property value may have decreased or you may have needed to enlist another professional to rectify the situation.

We can act for developers bringing claims of negligent work, or represent contractors defending such claims, as well as providing expert legal advice on the merits of a claim.

How does the Construction Act 1996 affect payment disputes?

For the most part, parties are free to agree to specific payment terms and conditions, including the amount due and when payment becomes due.

However, certain payment provisions set out in the Construction Act 1996 specify the payment terms that a construction contract must contain. If a construction contract does not comply with those payment provisions, the Scheme for Construction Contracts 1998 will imply terms into the contract. It is important to ensure the payment provisions in a construction contract comply with the payment provisions, to avoid consequences which were not intended by either party.

As with other forms of construction disputes, payment disputes can be resolved through adjudication or other forms of ADR, which often provide a quicker and more cost-effective method than litigation.

We can act for a developer or contractor in a payment dispute, as well as providing tailored legal advice on the provisions of your contract.

We’re with you, every step of the way.

We’re here to guide you through the intricacies of litigation, resolve disputes efficiently, and help you achieve your outcome.


Our team is composed of dedicated and accomplished legal professionals, each bringing their unique expertise to the table.

Violeta Korkucyte
Violeta Korkucyte
I am very happy with the service provided by Dominika Libova who helped me out with both my housing and allotment issues. Dominika was very professional, knowledgeable and understanding. I am grateful for all support and understanding received. I highly recommend Dominika and I will certainly continue using Naylor Solicitors services, should again there will be any need. Thank you so much! Kind regards, Violeta Korkucyte
Xuan Xing
Xuan Xing
I used Naylor as my solicitor in my possesion claim case. It was very complicated due to a rent-to-rent and defaulting agent case with changing solicitors in the past. Jenny and Dominika provided top-notch services along the way and helped me finally regained the property. They gave legal advices truly in client's interest and explained things in details. I would highly recommend you using them esp. when you face a complicated case.
Hi, My landlord posted an arrears repayment request letter (for my commercial property) to my old residential address where I haven't lived for over 20 years. To make things worse, some of my estranged family out of spite 'sat on the letter and never told me'. When my sick father found out he told me but by that time it was too late and my landlord had then tried 'to dig up a old expired lease clause' to evict me instead. I contacted the landlord and instructed Naylors to help me, as I have used them previously without any problems. I had an excellent service and outcome before and this time felt I was in very safe hands. However my landlord served me a 'forfeiture of lease and claimed repossession. Distraught Naylors saved the day and I am delighted, relieved and very grateful to say the landlord has given my keys back to me today, (within 48hrs of Naylors contacting them on my behalf) and I am back in my shop. Thank you so so much James, Jonathan, Jasper, Gurcharan and the whole team at Naylors, you guys are fantastic! keep up the amazing work. best wishes shabana x
Relinda Howard
Relinda Howard
I take this opportunity of thanking Dominika for her expertise and professionalism. She certainly made my experience of this situation more pleasant . She appears to be a person of strength and determination. When it is time to be firm she can be. Thanks for her perseverance in completing what she started. Relinda.
Mark Genney
Mark Genney
I have to say Naylor went the extra mile, my case must have lasted 5 years or so. I'm very happy with the amount of professionalism and talent that Naylor brought to this.
BB Roy
BB Roy
This specialist, yet unassuming Property Law firm came to my rescue by evicting a tenant in my property who was illegally subletting. At the outset, the principal of the firm - James Naylor set out a very clear forthright approach to get the tenants out by a given date. Then it was all up to a very high impact Solicitor Nida Khan to execute that plan. Nida was diligent and persistent in her manner with the tenants and left them with little scope to manoeuvre other than to surrender the tenancy by the specified date or to face imminent eviction by court orders. Through out the two week's process - Nida kept me informed, was easy to communicate with and was always reassuring. I am very grateful to Naylor's LLP for their professional service and happy to recommend Nida and her firm as outstanding property law practitioners.
Nurliah Fisher
Nurliah Fisher
I would like to thanks to all the staff at Naylor Solicitors. They are all very helpful and the most important is for me that’s they are very honest. Wishing them all the best and success with their team work and especially to Dominika, Many thanks for your hard work. Best wishes Nurliah Fisher
Mustafa Kalaycı
Mustafa Kalaycı
The most honest, hardworking, and fully professional law firm I have encountered or worked with. Despite speaking different languages, they effectively understand you through their interpreters, find the best advisors to assist you, and acquire the necessary information. They create a friendly, family-like atmosphere with a straightforward approach, particularly in litigation expertise. My gratitude goes to all the staff involved, especially James Naylor and Jenny Cheung, for their dedication. Thanks for everything. Mustafa KALAYCI
I used Naylor Solicitors to help us purchase our freehold. It wasn't as straightforward as we'd hoped as the previous freeholder and his solicitors were difficult to deal with (not responding to calls or emails etc,) which delayed things. At one point the freeholder threatened to pull out of the sale despite previously agreeing. Our solicitor Adam was swift in his response, reminding the other side that we had a verbal agreement and that they were risking us taking legal action in that regard. He was then able to make sure the sale went through as agreed. I highly recommend Naylor Solicitors.
Ray Allen
Ray Allen
We have used their services twice and both times we found them to be efficient and responsive. Kept us well informed of all developments throughout the process.