Light at the end of the tunnel
27 April 2016
Light at the end of the Tunnel?
One of the most complex and lengthy litigations ever brought in the Scottish Courts has finally concluded after 87 days in court. SSE brought the £130 million claim against Hochtief, the design and build contractor, after a pressurised water tunnel at the Glendoe Hydroelectric Scheme, near Fort Augustus, collapsed in 2009 shortly after the Scheme had been brought into operation.
The litigation made Scottish legal history by being the first to include “hot tubbing” or, as it is less salaciously called, “concurrent evidence”. This involved the parties’ experts in the same or similar disciplines giving their evidence at the same time. A single microphone was passed between the experts, who responded in turn to questions from the Court and counsel. The experts also had the opportunity to address comments directly to each other. There were three such sessions, one of which took place over two days and involved seven experts, all sitting in the jury box.
The case was heard by Lord Woolman in the Commercial Court of the Court Session. After four days of submissions, the Court made avizandum on 22 April.
SSE were represented by Gerry Moynihan QC, Sean Smith QC, Jonathan Barne, Almira Delibegović-Broome and Paul O'Brien, all of Axiom Advocates. Hochtief were represented by Alistair Clark QC and Martin Richardson, both of Axiom Advocates.
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