Wembley Stadium firms Multiplex and Mott MacDonald were this week urged to head for mediation to avoid a costly trial to determine who was to blame for construction overruns.
The latest estimates from both parties suggest legal costs are likely to be in excess of £74M at the end of the sub-trial. But the judge presiding over the case at the Technology and Construction Court, Justice Coulson, said the lack of cooperation could lead to an even more expensive litigation.
“In the 25 years that I have been involved in construction cases, I have never seen costs figures at such a level,” he said. “As a matter of general impression, I am presently unable to see how such costs could be described as reasonable or proportionate.”
A statement from consultant Mott MacDonald said both sides would now be “considering all options”.
Main contractor Multiplex lodged a £253M claim in December 2008 against consultant Mott Macdonald over the delays and overruns in the construction of the stadium.
This follows on from the bitter and expensive dispute between Multiplex and steel subcontractor Cleveland Bridge, resulting in a £6M award for the main contractor in September 2008.