Adjudication

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 1996 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. Selected members of the team are also trained Adjudicators by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

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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 Adjudicator’s Decision are significant. This can come as a shock to the unprepared party who may have been ambushed by their 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 in order to succeed.

Issues within the Adjudication Procedure

The Referring Party (i.e. the Claimant) who might initially be in control of the timetable when issuing the Referral Notice will have to be ready to deal with a substantial Defence within a short time. The Responding Party (i.e. the 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 construction and engineering contract disputes 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 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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