In 1998 there was introduced a means of dispute resolution in the construction industry by adjudication. Introduced as a quicker, more cost effective way of resolving disputes under construction contracts, it has been a feature of construction law ever since.
Adjudication is designed to provide a quick, relatively informal way to resolve disputes arising out of construction contracts and with a decision made typically within 28 days of referral to an independent Adjudicator it offers an attractive way to resolve disputes either during the life of a contract or after completion where final account issues remain unresolved.
The decision of the Adjudicator is binding on the parties and enforceable unless and until changed by the Court or arbitration. In reality, unless the outcome is such that further legal costs are justified in Court or arbitration proceedings it can bring an early and final resolution to construction disputes.
The 28 day time limit for a decision brings with it some of its own challenges. The time to prepare and submit information and evidence is very limited so each party needs to commit significant resources to prepare the case at short notice. Technical issues regarding the scope and authority of the Adjudicator in defining and determining the dispute and its resolution as well as enforcing adjudication decisions are complex and require specialist advice.
Our construction team has been involved extensively in adjudication proceedings since it was introduced under the scheme in 1998. In fact we were involved in one of the earliest cases to determine the nature, extent and scope of a “construction contract” when we acted for the claimant Palmers Ltd in the reported case in the TCC of Palmers Ltd v ABB Power Construction Ltd  BLR 426.
Since then we have continued to act on major contractual disputes referred to adjudication on both sides of the process. As well as major multi-million pound contracts we have also effectively helped clients resolve small construction contracts, including disputes under subcontracts, and house extension and renovation projects. The flexibility of adjudication in the right circumstances can ensure an early resolution to disputes where time and cost are key. We have also extensive experience in the recovery of adjudication costs and the enforcement of adjudication awards through the Courts and through Summary Judgment proceedings.
Contact our construction solicitors
If you would like to discuss further with our specialist construction adjudication solicitors please contact us or call 01202 294566.