There are industry-wide concerns that glass-reinforced plastic (“GRP”) composite doorsets do not meet the required level of fire resistance. We advised a social housing provider on issues arising out of the installation of circa 5,000 defective GRP composite doorsets.

The client had two options:

  1. Engage an alternative contractor to undertake a door replacement programme then seek to recover the costs of doing so from the original contractor through a formal claim; or
  2. Negotiate a “work now argue later” arrangement with the contractor responsible, under which the contractor would deliver a door replacement programme at no initial costs, with liability resolved through either negotiation or adjudication following completion of the works.

We negotiated and drafted the “work now argue later” arrangement, an innovative solution, which offered several benefits to the client. The client didn't have to fund the remedial works, and the cost of the door replacement programme was agreed between the parties in advance of any liability dispute.

As with many fire safety instructions, this work involved several legal disciplines, including:

  • Construction (both construction disputes and transactional construction);
  • Regulatory; and
  • Housing litigation.

 With those teams providing advice including:

  • Advising on the merits of a claim against the original contractor, and on the strategy to agree the “work now argue later” arrangement;
  • Negotiating and drafting the “work now argue later” arrangement;
  • Regulatory issues surrounding risks concerning deadlines set out in the client’s fire risks assessments;
  • Rights of access to individual dwellings to undertake the door replacement programme, where resident co-operation was not obtained; and
  • Leaseholder issues.

Our advice and support enabled the client to complete the works promptly to ensure compliance with their regulatory obligations. 

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