Brabners event focuses on new legislation in Building Safety Act

By Brabners LLP

07 Feb 2024

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Around 40 property and construction business leaders and professionals gathered at the Brabners Lancashire office for its Building Links event, hosted by Jennie Jones, partner in Brabners’ Construction team. 

The event focussed on the recently published secondary legislation under the Building Safety Act. 

Hailed as the biggest reform to building safety regulation for a generation, the Building Safety Act was enacted in April 2022 following the Grenfell tragedy. It introduced several ground-breaking reforms relating to quality, safety management, record keeping and competency with the government bringing in a wave of new secondary legislation under the Act in August 2023. This brought the new building control regime for all buildings into force from 1 October 2023.

The event included an overview of the Act from Claire Burrows, partner in Brabners’ Regulatory team. Claire is an expert in health and safety law in construction, having acted on a number of high-profile cases following fatal and serious incidents. 

Claire introduced the roles of the new regulatory bodies, the new responsibilities and competency requirements of those working on construction projects, and what sanctions will be imposed for those who breach the rules. 

Chris Vaughan, managing director of building regulation specialist, Approved Inspectors Ltd, also spoke at the event. Chris analysed areas of the Act such as the concept of ‘duty holders’, which includes the client, principal contractor and principal designer who must manage building safety risks during the design, construction, alteration and maintenance of all buildings. 

James Malam, a barrister at Exchange Chambers and expert in construction and professional negligence, discussed limitation periods and causes of action, with specific reference to the changes implemented under the Defective Premises Act. This extends the periods within which it is possible to bring a claim and what this means for those working in the industry – particularly the risk posed to developers and consultants, claims against which would previously have been time barred.

The three speakers were followed by an interactive panel discussion with audience participation which was chaired by Jennie Jones. 

Speaking about the event, Jennie said: “After a challenging 2023, driven by issues including limited economic growth, many areas of the construction industry, including the residential sector, are expected to see some recovery in 2024. With more projects expected to move through the construction process, the implications of the 2022 Act on the industry will be huge. 

"The Act has set a massive culture shift in motion, with a sharp focus on ethics, competence and responsibility. It is set to transform the way the industry designs, constructs and occupies buildings but it is complex and open to interpretation and, in many respects, poses more questions than it answers. Organisations will need to ensure that they are keeping up to date with the developments and ensure that their contracts properly take account of the new regime. 

“It was fantastic to see our delegates gain real insight from our expert panel which will help shape their business decisions over the coming months.”

Brabners’ Building Links is a network of construction and property professionals who are passionate about what they do and want to collaborate and share best practice. Events are held quarterly, centred around professional development and training, with the aim to drive innovation and education. 

The next Brabners Building Links event will be held in April 2024. Property and construction professionals interested in attending the next event can enquire by contacting [email protected]

Brabners’ property and construction team is one of the largest in the North West. It includes leading experts in construction, commercial property, development and investment, planning and environmental and property litigation. 

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