Effect of an Earlier Adjudication.

Posted on 17/01/2018 · Posted in Adjudication

Adjudication is a form of alternative dispute resolution which was introduced in the UK in 1996 by the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act (known as the Construction Act) as a compulsory method for resolving disputes in the construction industry. Adjudication is now a well-established dispute resolution process in the industry and available to the parties on the majority of construction contracts.

The Act was introduced in order to help resolve disputes in the construction industry more quickly and cost efficiently, aiming to provide a fast and workable solution to a construction dispute so that parties could quickly resume or continue to work under their contract, with the process typically taking place over a 28 day period from the selection of the adjudicator to the final decision.

Because it is such a fast-moving process, particularly in comparison to often lengthy and complex litigation, it means disputes can be resolved that much more quickly allowing construction projects to continue which would otherwise be held up, leading to further cost, resource and time implications. This is one of the huge benefits of adjudication; where a small dispute could hold up an entire construction project for months at a time if it were to be taken through the court system leading to knock-on effects on the project as a whole, the adjudication process allows, and in fact forces, the dispute to be resolved within a month, and work continues.

Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”
Henry Ford

So for example, if two parties are disputing over the type of brick being used for a construction project and this dispute gets resolved within 28 days through adjudication, the bricks still get delivered and work can now continue meaning the critical path of the project does not sustain significant delays due to legal wrangling. While the party at the receiving end of the unfavourable decision may still challenge the adjudicator’s decision, current law dictates that the party must nevertheless comply with that decision in the short term (whether it is paying up or delivering a different type of brick) which again leads to a quick – at minimum interim – solution and the fast reestablishment of working relationships.

The construction industry is a multi-million pound business ranging from small-scale quick turnaround buildings to vast developments costing millions of pounds so it is essential to keep it moving. The adjudication process is designed to do this, and is seen as a hugely effective way of resolving disputes quickly, cost effectively and fairly with the minimum knock-on effect on the wider construction contract or project.

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Expert Evidence is a professional firm concentrating on the four main areas of dispute resolution; acting as expert witnesses in financial litigation, mediation, arbitration and adjudication. The firm has a civil, criminal and international practice and has advised in many recent cases. Areas of specialisation include banking, lending, regulation, investment, and tax.

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