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Assessment Report: Legal Liability of Galba Developments in Nusquam


Galba Developments (Galba) is the commercial development entity created by the largest pension fund in Nusquam. It is progressing a project to redevelop a large brownfield site in Cloacarius, a run-down port on the coast of Nusquam. The scheme is extensive and involves the creation of new port facilities, a storage and distribution centre and new housing. In addition, new road and rail links are being created to improve the accessibility of Cloacarius from other parts of Nusquam. All planning and feasibility has been undertaken and approved. 
For historical reasons, the law of England and Wales is the law that applies in Nusquam. A team of highly experienced consultants have been assembled. Your role is as lead adviser and project manager for the development on behalf of Galba Developments. You have been asked to offer advice in the form of a report in relation to two matters. 
Matter one  
This relates to a jetty Galba was considering having built for the delivery of materials to the consolidation centre it proposes to construct as part of its logistics plan for the project. It had approached a firm called Vitellius to design the jetty ‘on Galba’s usual terms’. Among these terms are provisions that: 
• the designer receives 50% of his fee on delivery of the design and 50% when the completed jetty is certified as safe by Galba’s insurers the fee for the first appointment for designers that have not worked previously for Galba (as is the case with Vitellius) is discounted by 15%; and the jetty has to conform with any particular design guides stipulated in the appointment documents and be fit for purpose.
Vitellius does not agree with any of these terms, and, after a series of negotiations with Galba, puts forward a proposal that Galba be paid 60% of its fee on delivery of the design, 20% when work commences and 20% when the insurer’s certificate is issued. It does not offer any discount, seeks to limit its duty to one of reasonable skill and care not fitness for purpose, and does not accept 
Galba’s exclusion for loss of profits in the event of early termination. Negotiations continue while Vitellius produces and delivers its design.  
Galba Development’s directly employed maintenance team carried out road maintenance work on land owned by Galba in the old docks redevelopment area. During the course of the works one of Galba’s employees carelessly severed an electricity cable belonging to the local electricity company. The cable serves only Galba’s site and Cobweb Castle House, the home of Lord and Lady Washizu, Japanese nobles who lives in Nusquam. The incident happened on the Friday before a bank holiday weekend, during which Cobweb Castle House was to be open to visitors to raise funds for a charity, the Friends of the Museum of Nusquami Heritage (FMNH), of which Lady Washizu is patron. Lady Washizu was advised by health and safety specialists that, because of the nature of parts of Cobweb Castle House and grounds, it would be dangerous to admit visitors until power had been restored. (This did not happen until the following Tuesday. ) 
The castle was therefore closed and the FMNH had to refund money to visitors who had purchased tickets in advance. Lady Washizu had to dispose of food she had bought to feed the FMNH volunteers and to sell to visitors, and had also incurred the cost of producing souvenir programmes for the event. 
The power loss also damaged Lord Washizu’s computer server and corrupted a database. Lord Washizu has a contract with Megabyte Computer Specialists (MCS) to maintain his computer system on an all risks basis for an annual fee. MCS had to spend four days replacing server parts and restoring the computer system and database. Lord and Lady Washizu, the FMNH and MCS are seeking compensation from Galba for the loss and damage they suffered as a result of the loss of power. 
Critically assess the legal liability Galba might have to pay Vitellius for the design work it carried out and advise Galba of the factors it needs to take into account in determining any sum that might be owed to Vitellius.Critically appraise the relevant law and advise Galba as to what liability it might have to Lord and Lady Washizu, the FNMH and MCS for the loss and damage they suffered as a result of the loss of power. 
• Introduction; 
• Main Body (subdivided as required); 
• Conclusion; 
• References.
Your work will be assessed in relation to the requirements set out in the assessment criteria marking guide at the end of this document and the grading guidance section below. It is recommended that you read both of these sections before starting your assessment to learn what will help you to achieve the highest marks. Once you have finished you should review the assessment before submitting it, to check you have done what is required to achieve the highest marks.Grading guidance This grading guidance section explains in more detail what a submission for this assessment should include in order to achieve a mark at the threshold, good and excellent standards. 
A threshold answer will follow a basic report structure and included an executive summary.Grammar and punctuation will be adequate, although there may be some errors.  You will have have given information that is sufficiently relevant and addressed all requirements of the tasks. Advice will be given to Galba. The writing will be largely descriptive, and the level of any analysis will be basic, but adequate. Your work will be largely based on the course materials with little evidence of independent research. The formatting of references will be consistent but may not accurately follow the required UCEM Harvard style.   
With regard to the particulars of the task, you will have a basic critical analysis of the key relevant legal principles applicable to each matter (contract formation and obligations as to payment; and the law of negligence) supported by relevant legal authority. The facts of the cases may be described, rather than principles applied. Selection of cases may be limited.  
A good answer will have met the criteria above for a threshold answer. The answer will follow a more logical flow and structure and material will be more relevant. Grammar and punctuation will be satisfactory, and any errors will not detract from the overall clarity of the writing. Greater knowledge and understanding of the subject areas will be demonstrated and the insight and evaluation that underpins your advice and a greater level of analysis demonstrated, for example because it recognises where doubt might exist. Your work will be informed by a wider range of independent research and it is therefore likely that the number of sources cited will exceed the minimum requirement (10 sources). Firm conclusions with supported reasoning will be stated. The formatting of references will adequately follow the required UCEM Harvard referencing style. It will be clear that all information in the scenarios has been considered, with a clear and competent analysis of relevant information.   
With regard to the particulars of the task, a more precise level of knowledge will be demonstrated than for a Threshold answer. Relevant legal cases should be cited and analysed to demonstrate a proper understanding of the applicable law. Relevant legal principles will be identified and applied more effectively than in a threshold answer.  Evaluation that underpins your advice will be more nuanced, for example because it recognises where doubt might exist. 
An excellent answer will have met the criteria given above for a good answer. The answer will be precise, concise and entirely focussed on the task with a completely logical flow throughout. You will present logical arguments with a fully reasoned conclusions. There will be no materially irrelevant content. Grammar and punctuation will be precise and accurate, leading to articulate communication of the advice to Galba. The source material drawn upon is likely to well exceed the minimum requirement and referencing will be completely in accordance with UCEM Harvard referencing style. With regard to the particulars of the task, comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the subject areas will be demonstrated and the insight and evaluation that underpins your advice will be based on rigorous analysis of highly pertinent materials and clear analysis of relevant legal precedents. These will be analysed such as to demonstrate a clear understanding of the relevant law and its application to the situations described.

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