The Robin Rigg ruling could ion could affect the terms of future contracts, risk assessment of existing contracts and insurance and finance arrangements in the offshore wind sector
A leading law firm says the Supreme Court ruling in the Robin Rigg offshore windfarm court case has significant ramifications that contractors should be aware of.
On 3 August the UK Supreme published its judgment in the long-running MT Højgaard v Eon dispute regarding the failed grouted connections on the foundations at the Robin Rigg offshore windfarm. The Supreme Court overturned the Court of Appeal, and held in favour of Eon.
Mark de la Haye, a senior associate at Clyde & Co, said: "This judgment will come as a shock to many. The Supreme Court determined that the contractor, MT Højgaard, was under an obligation to ensure that the offshore windfarm's foundations would have a minimum lifetime of 20 years. This effectively placed on the contractor the consequences of an error in the international standard to which they were working.
"The implications of this judgment include the fact that, in the absence of clear wording to the contrary, contractors may unwittingly be obliged to ensure that their work goes above and beyond current international design standards.
"This decision will not simply blow over. It has ramifications beyond the offshore industry. Going forwards, contractors should be aware of this decision and the increased risk that it potentially entails.
"The decision could significantly affect the terms of future contracts, the risk assessment of existing contracts, as well as insurance and finance arrangements in the offshore windfarm sector."