Ben Beaumont

The change of officers and leadership is imminent. There is a division of opinion as to whether there should be physical or electronic meetings. What matters is that there should be people who are sufficiently enthusiastic to be active in branches and committees.

Some of you will be aware of the judgment of the Court of Appeal published last November. This case, Andrew Mitchell MP v News Group Newspapers [2013] EWCA Civ 1537, concerned the failure the solicitors of Andrew Mitchell to file a costs budget on time. The budget was projected to be approximately £500,000. By reason of the failure to file on time costs which would be granted to Andrew Mitchell would be limited to the court fees only.

Ladies and gentlemen of the Adjudication Society, some of us are pleased that we have avoided the cold, frost and snow of our usual winters. However there are others whose homes are located within flood planes or areas generally available to damage from river or sea who are in an extremely unfortunate position. If there is anything that members of the society consider that they can do to assist those who are in dire straits then it might be possible for regional or branch event to host some relevant activity.

The Christmas Season is now upon us. The economy is improving so we hear, but as to whether the rumour will become reality we will have to wait and see.

The executive committee is settling in well. I am still Acting Hon Sec; any volunteers to act as Hon Sec are welcome to email me. Richard Booth has been confirmed as the member of the Committee to replace the very long serving Tim Willis as regional coordinator. Our deep and heartfelt thanks go to Tim for his very hard work. Susan Francombe has very kindly agreed to take the very unofficial role of AGM coordinator. Many thanks, Susan. Hamish Lal continues as Treasurer and reports a very stable financial position.

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.

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!

The case of Price and Price v Carter [2010] EWHC 1451 TCC involved an application to seek permission to appeal under Section 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996, for an extension of time pursuant to CPR 62.9 and if granted an appeal against the award under Section 67 of the Arbitration Act 1996. It was found that permission was not required as the contract gave the parties an automatic right of appeal on a point of law. There was a contract for the demolition of a bungalow and the construction of a new house in Cornwall.

The Court of Appeal judgment, Platform Funding Ltd v Bank of Scotland Plc [2008] EWCA civil 930, [2009] WLR 1016, is a majority judgment, which appears to turn commonsense upon its head. The facts are unusual. A mortgage broker, possibly acting for another broker, instructed a firm of property valuers, by telephone, to carry out a schedule 1 inspection of a property and to provide a valuation. A schedule 1 inspection is a superficial inspection, sufficient to enable the surveyor to provide a general description of the nature and condition of the property in question.

The question as to when the term Subject to Contract is effective rears its head again, this time in adjudication proceedings.

The case of Bennett (Electrical) Services Ltd v Inviron Limited decided by Judge David Wilcox on the 19th January 2007 in the Technology and Construction Court robustly strikes down an adjudicator’s award. This fact is of itself unusual. Please recall the comment at the AGM of the Adjudication Society in November 2006 where it was said that a successful application to resist enforcement would be rare indeed.