Construction adjudication is a method of resolving construction disputes created by Part 2 of the Housing Grants, Construction & Regeneration Act 1996. It applies only to construction contracts, a term defined in that Act. Certain types of construction works are excluded from the meaning of that term, e.g. drilling for, or the extraction of, oil or natural gas. Contracts which principally relate to operations on a dwelling which one of the parties to the contract occupies, or intends to occupy, as his/her residence, are also excluded from the definition.
The right to adjudicate is said to arise at any time. The primary curb on that freedom though is the need to show that a dispute has crystallised, i.e. it has arisen and the responding party has had an opportunity to admit or dispute it, but has not done so.
A third-party Adjudicator oversees a 28-day period in which the claiming party (the Referring Party) puts forward a claim in writing together with evidence (the Referral), the other party then responds to it in kind (the Response), and the Responding Party replies (the Reply). Other steps are sometimes added to those 3 core steps. The Adjudicator then publishes a Decision which must be complied with promptly by the parties. If it is not, the winning party may elect to start enforcement proceedings at court. The Court will be likely to order enforcement unless the other party can fall within some narrow exceptions.
Adjudication is rapid and unsophisticated and hence far cheaper than litigation and arbitration. However, that means that the outcome is more unpredictable and the quality of the Adjudicator often disappointing. Parties almost always bear their own costs of the adjudication whether they win or lose.
It is common for a Responding Party to raise jurisdictional and other challenges about the scope of the Adjudicator’s authority and the fairness of the processes he/she is overseeing. These challenges encourage the Adjudicator to resign or adjust the procedures, under the threat that if he/she does not, these will be grounds for challenge in any enforcement proceedings.
Adjudication is a central feature of construction dispute resolution and we have a great deal of experience of it.
Ridgemont’s team is made up of expert senior solicitors, all of whom previously worked in “Big Law” (i.e. the top 50 law firms in the UK).
We provide bespoke advice tailored to your needs. Our advice is commercial and pragmatic, enabling you to use it effectively to make business decisions.
We have an expert understanding of construction law. We can guide you through the maze of Adjudication.
We are user-friendly. Our lawyers speak in plain English, providing service levels akin to “Big Law”. We have built our processes to make onboarding as pain-free as possible. Our fee earner structure means that you have access to a partner-level solicitor at all times and they will always be on top of your matter.
We operate our business in an ethical way. That means we think about what the “right thing to do” is when making a business decision. As an example, we do not charge a default unit of time for incoming emails or letters as we think we ought to be paid for work done, not for merely receiving correspondence. We are also open and transparent on what we charge, meaning our clients never receive a surprising invoice.
We provide “Big Law” service levels and quality of advice, with expert senior solicitors providing commercial, pragmatic advice. Necessarily, that does not come cheap as we have to invest in great lawyers and everything they need to do their job. However, due to us having comparatively lower overheads to “Big Law” firms, we are able to charge less than they would for providing the same service levels and advice.
We are proactive in finding innovative ways to advise our clients in a cost proportionate way.
Who we act for?
We act for developers, contractors, sub-contractors, professionals and investors across a range of sectors from residential to retail.
Your journey with us
- Get in touch using the contact form below, calling us on 0203 909 9590 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- We guarantee that we will be in touch with you the same day to listen to your needs and to explain how we can help and the likely cost.
- Assuming you wish to engage us, we will then onboard you as a client, which normally takes a matter of hours.
- From there, you will be assigned an experienced solicitor who will have conduct of your matter from cradle to grave and be available to speak to you and responsive to emails at every juncture.
You can learn more about our journey by watching these videos.
KEY CONTACT: Tim Seal
Head of Construction