January 13, 2023

Technology and Construction Court rules in favour of Fenwick Elliott client on major UK energy-from-waste project

The Technology and Construction Court has ruled in favour of Fenwick Elliott’s client, Energy Works (Hull) Ltd (EWH), in the case Energy Works (Hull) Ltd v MW High Tech Projects UK Ltd & Ors.

The claim concerned the construction of an energy from waste facility in Hull (UK) expected to process 240,000 tonnes of waste per year and produce energy for 43,000 homes. 

The substance of the case was EWH’s termination of its IChemE-based EPC contract with its contractor, MW High Tech Projects UK Limited (MW). The agreement was terminated 11 months after the intended contractual completion date, and with the contractor having suspended work, and not completed commissioning. EWH claimed for its losses arising from the termination together with losses arising from defects alleged at the plant. MW counterclaimed on the basis that the termination was wrongful and also joined its technology provider, Outotec Inc. 

The judge found that the termination was lawful, both under the contract and on the basis of repudiatory breach. The judge also found that EWH’s significant claim for additional interest payments under the project’s financing arrangements was valid. The judgment was handed down against the background of EWH and MW settling a few days prior to the judgment being published.

Partners Tony Francis and Karen Gidwani led Fenwick Elliott’s team for the case, which over its lifespan included partner Lucinda Robinson, senior associates Rebecca Penney, Adele Parsons, Gemma Essex, Ben Smith and Laura Bowler, associate Aurelia Russo, trainee Tajwinder Atwal and Fenwick Elliott’s e-disclosure specialists Adam Whitton and Joshua Ripton. 

The Counsel team comprised Stephen Dennison KC, Felicity Dynes, Sanjay Patel, and Matthias Cheung.

Karen Gidwani comments: “We are delighted with the judge’s findings, which are a testament to the hard work not only of the FE team, Counsel and the experts involved, but also the client’s project team and in-house counsel who were indefatigable in their commitment to the case.”

The judgment is available in full via: Energy Works (Hull) Ltd v MW High Tech Projects UK Ltd & Ors