When Glenn Godfrey and I first turned our minds to the content of this quarter’s newsletter it appeared that something rather unusual might have just taken place. In April, Mr Justice Ramsey indicated (albeit obiter) that there might, in some instances, be an entitlement to refer multiple disputes to adjudication. This would certainly be something of a dramatic change. In a blink of an eye, however, that possibility was extinguished by Mr Justice Akenhead. Details of these decisions can be found both in case note corner and in an article by Adam Temple discussing both cases. These cases recently got me thinking … in 2011, in an attempt to explain the impossibility of providing a universal definition of what constitutes a ‘dispute’ Mr Justice Akenhead called upon the analogy of a ball rolling down a hill and opined that whilst it was possible for a dispute to be like a stone (to which very little moss would cling) it was equally possible that the dispute might be a snowball (growing steadily larger as more snow clings on its descent). Whilst neither ball metamorphosed into multiple disputes at the foot of the hill, the size of the snowball dispute had grown exponentially. Faced with the willingness to adopt such an approach, pity the ‘zorbing’ respondent who struggles to find its foothold as that dispute continues to gather debris throughout the adjudication process…
There are two further adjudication topics covered in this edition which keep generating material. The first article features the case that just keeps giving - Walter Lilly v Mackay – in respect of which we are pleased to publish an article based on Matthew Cocklin’s paper to the SCL on concurrent delay. The second article is a useful update from Quigg Golden on the sporadic passage of the Irish Construction Bill.
The astute amongst you will also have noticed that there were two attachments to the email by which this newsletter reached you! We have the honour of showcasing the newly published Guidance Notes on adjudication which are the work product of a joint collaboration between the Adjudication Society and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. They are essential reading for all involved in construction adjudication. An explanation of their content is provided by Nick Gould, who many of you will know as a former Adjudication Society Chairman; Nick chaired the Guidance Notes Sub-Committee and the notes are a credit to the hard work put in by Nick and the team. Copies of the Guidance Notes can also be found on the website (http://www.adjudication.org/four-additional-guidance-notes-published).