Construction Adjudication


Adjudication is a form of dispute resolution procedure for the construction industry. Our experienced dispute resolution solicitors can guide you through every step of the adjudication process.

Adjudication is an alternative procedure for resolving disputes without resorting to lengthy and expensive court proceedings. Adjudication was introduced in the UK in 1996 by the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act (Construction Act).

It is a formal process with parties serving detailed submissions, witness statements and often expert reports. We understand the process and have the skill set needed to prepare your case, all the relevant documentation, witness evidence and expert opinion.

We can defend your position or fight your corner, addressing the issues head-on to keep the process running.

Free Initial Discussion

For a free initial discussion and a no-obligation quote, get in touch with us today by simply calling us on +44 (0) 203 909 9590 or email us at contactus@ridgemont.co and a member of our commercial construction team will get back to you.

When is adjudication suitable?

The Construction Act allows a party to a construction contract to refer a dispute to an adjudicator ‘at any time’. Typical claims might be about:

  • Clarification of the scope of a project
  • Delays to construction
  • Non-payment of monies due for particular stages of a development
  • Poorly executed and defective work
  • Requests for extensions of time

More complex contractual issues and negligence claims may also be referred to an adjudicator.

Usually, the matter referred to adjudication is a standalone issue. A dispute might be holding up a particular building project or causing cash-flow issues for one party. By accepting the adjudicator’s decision, the parties can continue to work together. Often the ruling will only be a temporary solution, enabling the development to continue until a more permanent outcome can be found.

It is vital that you seek professional advice on the consequences of adjudication as not every disagreement is suitable for the process. Remember that the adjudication process has been developed to provide swift, practical solutions. If a dispute is particularly complex then the parties may need to persue court proceedings or arbitration.

Benefits of using adjudication

Adjudication has become the most commonly used method for dispute resolution over the last two decades because of the following benefits:

  • A quicker resolution, with a decision usually reached within 28 days
  • Both parties have to pay their own costs, meaning that the risk to the losing party is less compared to litigation
  • The courts will usually enforce an adjudicator’s decision, with around 95% of applications to enforce adjudication in the High Court succeeding.

The Process

The timings for the adjudication process can differ slightly between the various forms and as such, please read the below as a generalisation on timelines.

The adjudication process begins when the party referring the dispute gives formal written notice of their intention to do so. Formal notice should briefly set out a description of the matter, details of where and when the dispute arose and the nature of the remedy.

Following service of the ‘Notice of Adjudication’, the next step is to appoint an adjudicator. The appointment of an adjudicator must be secured within seven days.

Next, the referral notice must be served within seven days of the Notice of Adjudication. This is the document that sets out the detail the of the dispute and should be accompanied by any supporting documents with any expert reports and witness statements.

The Construction Act sets out a tight timetable and the adjudicator's decision must be made within 28 days of service of the referral notice. This tight timescale is designed to enable parties to obtain quick and cost-effective results, which are binding unless reviewed in litigation or arbitration.

You should always seek professional legal advice in these matters as the process can be quite complex and you may miss vital steps and evidence to assist your matter.

The Decision

The adjudicator is required to reach his decision within 28 days of service of the referral notice. This period can be extended by a further 14 days if the referring party agrees or can be extended longer if both parties agree.

The adjudicator’s decision is final and binding, providing it is not challenged by subsequent arbitration or litigation. Even if the parties intend to pursue court or arbitration proceedings, they must in the interim comply with the adjudicator's decision.

It is imperative to secure expert legal advice from specialist solicitors early on and act fast when served a Notice of Adjudication. Time limits are often short and inflexible.

Why Choose us

We have been involved in a wide range of construction disputes, many of which have involved niche and unusual points of law.

Our style is to be proactive and work with you and other advisers to achieve your objectives. Our depth and breadth of expertise enable us to add value by facilitating the adjudication process.

We aim to work with you to help to deliver your projects successfully and efficiently and to resolve disputes as swiftly as possible. Whether you want general advice or strong action, we have the knowledge and experience to help you in the most effective way.

We are able to clearly explain the legal issues and provide you with expert advice in your specific circumstances.

How to Get in Contact

For a free initial discussion and a no-obligation quote, get in touch with us today by simply calling us on +44 (0) 203 909 9590 or email us at contactus@ridgemont.co and a member of our commercial construction team will get back to you.

We specialise in construction law and real estate matters and have an excellent reputation across the country. We can assist wherever you are in the based and have offices in central London.