There is a (still) new executive committee. Theresa Mohammed has retired through pressure of work as honorary secretary and I am assuming that role protem; any volunteers are welcome to email me!
It has generally been accepted that only one dispute can be referred to adjudication. Although the court has generally been amenable to finding that multiple disputes have not been referred, there have been cases where a challenge on this basis has succeeded.
The extent to which that approach is correct has been opened up by the recent decision of Mr Justice Ramsey in Willmott Dixon v Newlon  EWHC 798 (TCC). However, less than a month later, Mr Justice Akenhead put forward a contrary view in TSG v South Anglia  EWHC 1151 (TCC).
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.
I came across a complaint from a party who, in their eyes at least, had “won” an adjudication, but couldn’t understand why the adjudicator had apportioned liability for some of his fees to them. It transpired that the adjudicator had not given an explanation for his finding which in turn led onto a train of enquiry as to whether the adjudicator had erred.
The Adjudication Society has recently published four additional Guidance Notes. These are:
1. Guidance Note: Construction Contracts and Construction Operations;
2. Guidance Note: Adjudicator’s Liens;
3. Guidance Note: Natural Justice;
4. Guidance Note: Construction Contracts & Construction Operations.
A recent complaint I came to hear about concerned the question of whether the adjudicator should have taken a more active role in calling a halt to and/or limiting the number of submissions one party makes. The complaint was that the adjudicator did little to control the number and extent of submissions made by the parties.
If there is one theme which runs through the articles which feature in this quarter’s newsletter it is that the world is one surprising place.
The process of obtaining the services of an adjudicator has, from the very start of statutory adjudication in the UK, been a rather fraught affair. Throughout the period from 1996 to the present day, the quality of adjudicator performance has, understandably, been a matter of concern to all involved; parties, their representatives, adjudicator nominating body (ANB) administrators and to adjudicators themselves.
Much has already been written about the 2012 decision of the Court of Appeal in PC Harrington v Systech. Some have suggested it will lead to even more challenges to the jurisdiction and, according to some (ill informed) observers the Systech case has been cited as authority that there is no need to pay an adjudicator who exceeds his jurisdiction. However, this was not the decision of the Court of Appeal…
This is my second article reviewing the basics of adjudication. You will recall from my previous article that my aim is to put the alleged complexities of adjudication in perspective and as far as possible empower those of us that actually work in construction, and are only occasional users of adjudication, to understand and be capable of entering into and completing the adjudication process themselves without specialist advice.
Some commentators have welcomed the Court of Appeal decision in PCH v Systech and suggest that its effect will be to improve the quality of adjudication decisions. Others despair that it ignores the practicalities of this swift, rough and ready procedure. Whilst it is perhaps difficult to argue with the result on the particular facts of that case, I consider any wider application of the decision to be an unwelcome development in adjudication jurisprudence. The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the potential implications of the decision.
Payment and adjudication in the Australian construction industry is governed by individual State and Territory legislation. Such legislation in Australia commenced on 26th March 2000, in New South Wales. Five States, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory (“ACT”) followed over the years, each of which has its own disparate security of payment legislation. Of the fourteen or so pieces of security of payment legislation internationally, eight are within Australia.
There is now a new executive committee for the society: Edward Quigg is senior vice-chairman, Tim Willis is junior vice-chairman and Theresa Mohammed has become honorary secretary. Susan Francombe has also kindly agreed to coordinate matters relevant to the annual general meeting whilst Richard Booth has joined the committee and has agreed to take over from Tim Willis in the arduous role of regional coordinator. Hamish Lal continues as treasurer and reports a very stable financial position.
Unless you found yourself marooned on a desert island during 2012, it will not have passed your attention that the whole of the construction world suddenly got very excited in August. Contractors started to clink champagne glasses in celebration, but it had absolutely nothing to do with Team GB’s success at the Olympic Park. Indeed, whilst the contractors were celebrating, employers had started to panic. The reason…? Rumours were spreading that the TCC had given the green light to global claims.
In the November 2011 edition of this newsletter I wrote an article about a panel debate held on the ‘new’ payment provisions by the London and South East Region. One year on, I thought it was worthwhile reviewing how they are faring.