Court Orders Enforcement of Construction Dispute Adjudications
The High Court has ordered the enforcement of two adjudication decisions in respect of a construction dispute between a social housing trust and a building contractor after rejecting the former’s arguments that the adjudicator lacked jurisdiction to resolve the matters under Construction Industry Council (CIC) rules.
The trust had employed the contractor in the construction of a mixed use development. A dispute arose and the housing trust was directed by the adjudicator to pay the contractor more than £115,000 in respect of certain basement works. The trust was also directed to pay more than £130,000 in respect of sums it had withheld from the contractor on account of liquidated damages, as well as the costs of resolving both matters.
In entering summary judgment against the trust, the Court dismissed its argument that both adjudication decisions were unenforceable for want of jurisdiction (i.e. that the adjudicator lacked legal authority to make them). The Court rejected the trust’s plea that the matters had not been referred to the adjudicator in accordance with rule 14 of the CIC rules. Arguments that the adjudicator had not been entitled to decide both disputes at the same time were also rejected.
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