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What is the proper measure of the expenses of making good under Section 7(2) of the Party Wall Etc. Act 1996?
This short paper considers the judgment of Her Honour Judge Taylor in the Central London County Court on 11th February, 2014 in the case of Jack Breuer v Alba Leccacorvi  PLSCS159. The learned judge concluded that compensation under s.11(8) of the Party Wall Etc. Act 1996 (ie, expenses paid in lieu of the carrying out of work to make good damage) were payable under ordinary common law principles on the basis of diminution in value. This paper challenges that judgment. It argues that the particular wording of s.11(8), which refers to ‘the expenses of such making good’, clearly indicates that compensation is payable on the basis of the cost of rectification. Earlier case law has made it clear that common law remedies are supplanted by the statutory regime of the Act.
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Philip Harris is a partner and head of construction at Wright Hassall Solicitors, Leamington Spa, UK. He is a construction solicitor with 31 years’ experience. He has rights of audience in the High Court and is a member of Wright Hassall LLP. He is an adjudicator on five national panels, a chartered arbitrator and a mediator.