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Hay & Kilner adds new construction expertise.

LAW firm Hay & Kilner has strengthened its specialist construction and engineering offering with the appointment of solicitor Jan Rzedzian as they add to their considerable expertise in the construction sector.

Jan successfully completed his training at the Newcastle-based firm gaining significant experience in construction and engineering disputes and drafting construction agreements.

In his new role, Jan will work alongside partner Martin Soloman and associate Graham Sutton in advising their impressive portfolio of local and national clients.

Martin Soloman, senior partner at Hay & Kilner said: "We are delighted to announce this appointment at Hay & Kilner.

"Jan has worked hard over the last two years to earn a permanent position at our firm where he can specialise and complement the skills of existing team members and provide the best possible service to our clients."

This is a view endorsed by independently researched legal guide, The Legal 500 who praises the "invaluable" Hay & Kilner construction team for delivering "superb advice" to clients.

COVERT CULVERTS JAN Rzedzian, solicitor in the construction team at Hay & Kilner looks at the rights and responsibilities to owners of riverside land and property From the Thames Valley and the Somerset Levels to our own River Tyne bursting its banks and leaving stretches of the city's quayside underwater, the story of this winter has undoubtedly been flooding.

Four of the top five wettest years in recorded history have taken place since the year 2000 and January 2014 was England's wettest winter month in almost 250 years. Flood defences that have been in place for years are being tested like never before and, unfortunately, they are often found wanting. Unprecedented rainfall and flash flooding has brought volumes of water that pre-existing water management structures such as culverts may not be capable of managing. Culverts in Devon, Lancashire, Wales and Tyneside have all made the news following instances of severe flooding and property damage.

The Environment Agency now actively discourages the construction of new culverts due to the potential flood risks and resulting damage to the environment. Where pre-existing culverts exist however, landowners, developers, businesses and residents must be aware of their rights and responsibilities.

If you own land adjoining, above or with a watercourse running through it, in legal terms you are the "riparian owner". As riparian owner you have the responsibility to let water flow through your land without any restriction, pollution or diversion which affects the rights of others. You must keep the banks of the watercourse clear of anything that could cause an obstruction and increase flood risk, either on your land or downstream if it is washed away. You are also responsible for maintaining the bed and banks of the watercourse and the trees and shrubs growing on the banks. You must keep any structures such as culverts, trash screens, weirs and mill gates clear of debris and you are not permitted to construct any structures or carry out any works on your land which are likely to affect the water flow without prior regulatory consultation or approval. If a body of water is enclosed in a culvert and, owing either to its inadequacy to cope with the volume of water or to its bad state of repair, the water overflows and damages neighbouring property, liability lies primarily with the owner of the culvert. As set out in the case of Rylands v Fletcher, a person who accumulates or diverts water must ensure that it does not cause damage if it escapes.

In the case of a culvert the responsibility for maintenance lies with the landowner. If there is a culvert on or through your land, you generally own it from the point where it enters to the point where it leaves your land and this is the case whether you are aware of its existence or not.

With flooding costing the UK a reported PS2.2bn a year, can you afford to ignore what may be underfoot? There are steps that landowners should take which will be covered in a forthcoming seminar delivered jointly by Hay & Kilner Solicitors and Fairhurst Consulting Engineers on April 3, 2014, at Kingston Park. To reserve your free space, visit: For information contact Jan Rzedzian on 0191 232 8345 or email:


Jan Rzedzian, construction >solicitor at Hay & Kilner

Hay & Kilner's construction team: Lucy Gray, Jan Rzedzian, Graham Sutton, Martin Soloman and Rodney Jones
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Mar 19, 2014
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