The law governing the resolution of construction disputes in England and Wales changed in May 1998 when the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 came into force. The act introduced the concept of mandatory resolution of construction disputes by way of Adjudication.
Our barristers are well experienced in dealing with construction and engineering contract disputes in Adjudication. Some of them are also trained Adjudicators by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
The Adjudication Procedure
The fast track adjudication procedure produces a decision pro-tem, usually within 28 days, which invariably must be obeyed unless successfully challenged in arbitration or litigation.
The obstacles in raising a successful challenge to the Adjudicators’ Decision are significant and this can come as a shock to the unprepared party who may have been ambushed by his opponent and must immediately pay a significant amount of money.
Although adjudication brings practical benefits to dispute resolution in the construction industry, the implication of the short 28-day time table is that the parties involved in the dispute must be highly organised and skilled if they are to succeed.
Issues within the Adjudication Procedure
The Referring Party (“Claimant”) who might initially be in control of the time table with the timing of the Claim will have to be ready to deal with a substantial Defence within a short time, typically in a few days. The Responding Party (“Defendant”) on the other hand is regularly exposed to dealing with and preparing a Defence to a substantial Claim, which has taken much longer to prepare, within the short period of a few days.
Specialisation in Adjudication
At Mercantile Barristers our members are specialists in conducting a construction and engineering contract dispute in adjudication. Given the real and practical issues of delay and disruption of the construction programme, assessment of the quality, quantity and valuation of the completed works together with the associated losses and expenses that arise in adjudications, our barristers with combined experience in Quantity Surveying, Construction Project Management and as Counsel, have an unparalleled ability to speedily and comprehensively master the issues.
As a result we have created a systemised approach in our adjudication practice which employs methods designed to win cases or deploy effective defences for clients at first instance.
Our members at Mercantile Barristers have been at the leading edge of the development of the law in adjudication and have extensive experience in providing advisory, preparatory, drafting, documentary, claims management and advocacy services in relation to adjudications and any subsequent proceedings in the Technology and Construction Court.
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