HC Deb 02 November 2000 vol 355 c575W
Mrs. Roe

To ask the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, if he will make a statement about the matter of Harmon CFEM Facades v. the Corporate Officer of the House of Commons. [136650]

Mr. Kirkwood

The House of Commons Commission settled its dispute with Harmon CFEM Facades (UK) Limited on 16 August 2000 at the figure of £5.26 million, which included a contribution to Harmon's costs. This sum was very substantially less than that claimed by Harmon.

In making the decision to settle, the Commission took into consideration the judgments of His Honour Judge Humphrey Lloyd QC at the liability trial and at the later interim payment hearing. The subsequent decision in the House's favour of Lord Justice Kennedy to grant permission to appeal the interim payment judgment was a significant factor in reducing the amount of the settlement.

In deciding to settle the action the Commission took into account that were the House to be awarded its costs of defending the damages action (due to be heard in April 2001) the prospect of recovering them was nil due to Harmon's insolvency.

While the Commission is satisfied that a settlement was obtained at a figure substantially less than the amount of Harmon's claim, it is reviewing the outcome of the case.