Paul Rixon recently acted as an Expert Witness for Accolade Wines, the claimant in a multi-million pound case with an 8 week trial listed in the Technology and Construction Court starting in February 2015. The case settled part way into the trial on terms that are confidential. Paul was instructed by London law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP who were representing the claimant.
The case arose out of the construction of Accolade Park, a 860,000 sq ft combined wine packaging and distribution facility in Avonmouth, Bristol. The facility is the one of the largest in the world and was purpose built for Accolade Wines – the number one wine company by volume in the UK and Australia and arguably the world's leading provider of premium, commercial and value wines from across the New World, including from its own wineries in Australia, New Zealand, California and South Africa, and whose portfolio in the UK includes Hardys, Banrock Station, Kumala, Mud House, Geyser Peak and Echo Falls.
Serious structural defects emerged at the site within a year of Accolade Wines taking occupation. The case involved complex geo-technical and geo-environmental issues relating to the design and construction of the foundations and drainage at the site. Paul provided expert evidence in relation to the diminution in the rental value and leasehold capital value suffered by Accolade Wines as a result of the structural defects.
Building magazine has reported on the case a number of times. The case was included in The Lawyer’s list of top cases to watch in 2014 and was also noted by Legal 500 as the most high profile case for London's construction bar.