The Limits of Limitation Clauses

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Julian Bailey

November 2017

A paper based on a talk to the Society of Construction Law (Gulf) in Doha on 22nd May and in Dubai on 24th May 2016

The paper focuses on the way in which construction contracts seek to limit a party’s contractual liability for its own failure and the legal effectiveness of such provisions.  Particular emphasis is given to clauses that seek to limit the types of loss or damage for which damages are recoverable.  The paper considers the law of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates but also looks in detail at the law of England and Wales.  Five cases are considered in detail, one from the Court of Appeal, three from the TCC and one from Australia. 

Introduction – The need for limitation clauses – Ways of limiting liability – Are limitation clauses enforceable in Qatar and the UAE? – Interpretation – Case 1: Sabic UK Petrochemicals v Punj Lloyd – Case 2: Fujitsu Services v IBM United Kingdom – Case 3: Macmahon Mining Services v Cobar Management – Case 4: Bluewater Energy Services v Mercon Steel Structures – Case 5: Transocean Drilling v Providence Resources – Discussion and conclusion.

The author: Julian Bailey is a solicitor with White & Case LLP, solicitors, Doha, Qatar and was chairman of the UK Society of Construction Law, 2015-2016.

Text: 15 pages

Paper number: 
November 2017, online, 425k

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