Our litigation solicitors can advise you in relation to construction claims, in particular adjudications pursuant to the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996.
This Act was recently amended to make it far easier to refer construction disputes to adjudication without the need for there to be a formal contract in writing, which became the case under the previous adjudication regime. The Act has also made various further changes to the payment procedure to be adopted in construction contracts.
The advantage of adjudication, as opposed to court proceedings, lies in the fact that it provides a quick and cost effective method of achieving payment. This is particularly attractive to sub-contractors who may find themselves in dispute with much larger contractors. Rather than having to go through court proceedings, with all the costs involved and a timescale of 9-12 months on average, parties can refer a dispute to adjudication which is generally dealt with by a technically qualified Adjudicator, often a quantity surveyor, in 4-6 weeks.
Adjudication awards are enforceable through the courts and our litigation lawyers are very experienced in these matters. They are legally binding to the extent that the party ordered to make payment can be compelled by court enforcement if necessary to make that payment. It does not prevent a party from subsequently referring the same dispute to litigation or arbitration but at least in the meantime the party who has received payment has the benefit of that money. In reality few disputes that are referred to adjudication do end up being litigated or arbitrated.
Given that the costs of the adjudication process are not always recoverable from the other side (other than the Adjudicator’s fees) the service we offer will always be proportionate to the amount in issue. If necessary we can guide you through the process with the majority of work being done by you in terms of preparation of the necessary paperwork / submissions to the Adjudicator. Alternatively we can work more closely with you to prepare the necessary documentation.
Richard Cook has over 10 years' experience of adjudications (since they were first launched in the late 1990s) as well as having handled substantial construction cases in the Technology and Construction Courts previously and also subsequently.
If you require any legal advice or help from our litigation solicitors for your construction claims then contact Trethowans today.