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Adjudication is an increasingly popular method of dispute resolution that enables parties to keep their projects progressing and cash flow moving.
The use of adjudication to resolve disputes involving construction contracts is a statutory right, which means that either party can refer the issue in dispute to an adjudicator without the consent of the other parties to the contract. This right cannot be contracted out by the parties and can be applied for at any time subject to the dispute falling within the statutory guidelines.
The aim of adjudication is to ensure that neither party can hold the other to ransom in having to fund expensive and/or long running arbitration or court proceedings which they can ill afford, and which could significantly affect their ability to enforce payment or their contractual entitlements.
Once a dispute has crystallised by one party making a written claim which (after being given a reasonable time to investigate and respond) is not accepted, one party will send notice to the other in specified form and then seek to instruct an adjudicator using the method set out in the contract, or in default by following the statutory and industry specific guidelines.
An adjudicator will usually be required to make a preliminary decision within 28 days of the referral being made to him or her, (which can be extended by agreement) with the aim of maintaining cash flow. The decision is binding until the dispute is finally determined by separate court proceedings, arbitration or agreement.
In the event that you receive a notice of adjudication or need help quickly to resolve a dispute which is threatening your project it is essential to seek legal advice and our specialist team are at hand to lead you thought the process.
For further advice and assistance please contact one of the team who will be happy to help.
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