JR Hartley

I was recently talking over lunch with a solicitor who regularly represents small and medium sized contractors in adjudications. The direction of our conversation turned to the subject of adjudicators nominated by ANBs.

Adjudication is the construction sector’s dispute resolution method of choice for several reasons. It is quick, comparatively simple, cost-effective and private.

The working party is charged with scoping a simple, Construction Act compliant, adjudication timetable and procedure for low value disputes. The plan is to give adjudication back to parties involved in low value disputes about straightforward issues.

I was talking recently to a party who had lost rather badly in an adjudication.

I was talking recently to a party who had lost rather badly in an adjudication.

The pressures on adjudicators to perform to high standards, whilst under increasing scrutiny from parties and their professional representatives, can be immense. Adjudicators, even the most experienced should not be complacent and should endeavour to keep ahead through regular CPD. ANBs have a duty to ensure adjudicators they appoint are appropriately qualified and able. It follows that they should endeavour to ensure adjudicators have ongoing access to practical, competency based training.

I was talking recently to an ex-adjudicator. We spoke at length about some of the issues in his life that caused him to decide he would no longer be an adjudicator.

I heard of a grumble recently regarding the use of assistants by an adjudicator.

We know that an adjudicator is entitled to get the law wrong. We also know that, provided the adjudicator answers the right question and does not breach the rules of natural justice, any decision reached will be binding on the parties and enforceable.

I saw a complaint recently regarding an adjudicator who had reached a decision in respect of a valuation dispute. The essence of the complaint was that the adjudicator had been lazy. In particular, the complainant took issue with the fact that the adjudicator had set out the reasons for his finding on each item in dispute in a schedule that was attached to the main body of his Decision. The complaint was that the reasons were too brief.