Construction contracts: the risk of making yourself imperfectly clear

By Fraser Askham

You’ve decided to amend one of the standard forms of construction contract by striking through the relevant article in the agreement. But a recent judgment suggests that might not be good enough.

What happened? The contract in question was the JCT Intermediate Building Contract 2011. And the relevant amendment concerned adjudication. The employer hadn’t paid an interim payment so the contractor referred the matter to adjudication and won. The same thing happened a second time. But the employer still didn’t make either payment.

The contractor asked the court to enforce the adjudication decisions. The employer said that the decisions should not be enforced because there was no right to refer the disputes to adjudication. The employer pointed to the fact that the parties had agreed to delete the relevant article dealing with adjudication (article 7)…

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