Chairman's Notes, July 2022

Adjudication continues to dominate construction law.  The question of whether a collateral warranty is a construction contract within the meaning of s.104(1) of Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 was considered for the first time by the Court of Appeal in Abbey Healthcare (Mill Hill) Ltd v Simply Construct (UK) LLP. Abbey Healthcare is now the leading authority on this specific issue: The Court of Appeal did not overrule the approach followed by the TCC in Parkwood Leisure Ltd v Laing O'Rourke Wales and West Ltd but the Court of Appeal decision was a majority decision with Lord Justice Stuart-Smith writing a powerful dissenting judgement. Liverpool City Council v Vital Infrastructure Management (Viam) Ltd (In Administration) also catches attention not least because of HHJ Davies’ statement that “the decision of an adjudicator is not to be treated like an answer to an exam paper…it is enough that they decide the dispute referred to them and do not fail to deal with the key points”. These Cases will, I am sure, be addressed in the Society’s next Quarterly Case Law Update.

I should highlight that on 1 October 2022, the Construction Contracts (England) Exclusion Order 2022 will come into force.  The Order will exclude contracts within the water and sewerage infrastructure industries “for the delivery of a direct procurement for customers project”, or “DPC”, from the Part 2 provisions contained in the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996. Adele Parsons of Fenwick Elliott provides analysis of the Order. Patently, Readers will see that this Newsletter has attracted a number of compelling articles covering noteworthy and important issues for all of us involved in Adjudication. I congratulate and thank warmly all the authors for giving us a set of articles that one wants to read, keep to hand and utilize in submissions.

I should also like to stress a key date: Thursday November 3rd 2022 is the date for our Annual Conference. For details please see  We thank the Team dealing with the Annual Conference and Arran Dowling-Hussey, The Society’s Conference Convenor.  I hope very much to see a good number of Members in Edinburgh.  In that context, I want to repeat that the Committee exists to aid Members and to further the learning of Adjudication and so please let us know if there is anything that you would like us to do, improve or accelerate. 

Hamish Lal, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld