Case studies

Advising European transport company on High Court claim


We acted for GEFCO UK Limited, which is part of a major European transport company, in its claim against J Jarvis PLC.

The claim related to construction defects in the foundations and floor of a warehouse at the time of its construction in 1996. The warehouse in Dartford, Kent, was one of only two main storage and distribution warehouses that GEFCO has in the UK and the main hub for its distribution of goods arriving from the continent.

GEFCO's claim was for repair costs plus loss of use of the warehouse amounting to about £4 million. There were repairing covenant issues to be resolved between GEFCO and its landlord as GEFCO held the warehouse under a full repairing lease.

Proceedings were issued in 2007 in the Technology and Construction Division of the High Court and were consolidated with proceedings involving four other parties to the dispute. There were also separate arbitration proceedings.

The consolidated claims, which were to be heard together at a trial in June 2008, involved ten expert witnesses. Test pits were dug in the warehouse, while GEFCO remained in occupation.

The case settled about two months before trial - multi-party claims of this type involving five parties are generally more difficult to settle.


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Penningtons Manches LLP

Penningtons Manches LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. San Francisco is an associated office.

Penningtons Manches LLP