Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co

UK 200 2013 position: 25

Adjudication Watch — March 2014: review of the latest legal developments in adjudication

In this fifth edition of Adjudication Watch, Wragge & Co reviews cases involving challenges to enforcement on jurisdictional and natural justice grounds. The firm looks at the following decisions:

  • Westshield Ltd v Whitehouse — the referring party entering into a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) was held to be a defence to enforcement of an adjudicator’s decision due to the responding party’s claim to be a creditor under the terms of the CVA
  • JG Walker Groundworks Ltd v Priory Homes (East) Ltd — the court enforced an adjudicator’s decision, dismissing the defendant’s arguments as having ‘no merit whatsoever’
  • Alexander and Law Ltd v Coveside (21BPR) Ltd — the existence of a winding-up petition against the claimant was held not to be a defence to summary judgment proceedings to enforce an adjudicator’s decision
  • Wales and West Utilities Ltd v PPS Pipelines Systems — robust enforcement is underlined despite the referring party’s attempt to limit the ambit of the dispute
  • Roe BrickWork Ltd v Wates Construction Ltd — although the adjudicator’s method differed from that used by the referring party, the adjudicator was not found to have exceeded his jurisdiction or breached the rules of natural justice
  • Hillcrest Homes Ltd v Beresford and Curbishley Ltd — a claim for misrepresentation was held to be incapable of being referred to adjudication

Only one of the above challenges was successful, which further underlines the court’s continuing robust approach to enforcement: maintaining cash flow is essential and enforcement challenges will only succeed in exceptional circumstances…

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