Any dispute or difference in a construction or engineering project needs to be dealt with as quickly and effectively as possible, so as to maintain relationships (where possible), protect cash flow or minimise site disruption.
Adjudication is a quick tool which can be used towards reaching a resolution of any dispute or difference, whether the project is still ongoing or has been completed. Adjudicator’s decisions (normally) are provided within 28 days of the dispute and/or difference being referred to an Adjudicator.
Another beneficial point when considering Adjudication is that the Adjudicators are experienced industry professionals or construction lawyers who are used to dealing with large complex disputes.
Crystallising the “Dispute”
Before Adjudication can be commenced a dispute and/or difference (“the Dispute”) must be crystallised. By crystallised it is meant that the Dispute has been put to the other side and they have been given a chance to consider the Dispute and have rejected it – or they have simply ignored the correspondence.
In that sense, Adjudication can be considered front-loaded. This is because, in order to properly crystallise the Dispute, a comprehensive position should be set out. For a final account, this could mean particularising and evidencing all of the variations. In our experience, if this is done properly the chance of reaching an amicable solution exponentially increases – which could mean there would be no need for Adjudication, or any other forms of dispute resolution, at all.
We are experienced at identifying not only the legal arguments but perhaps most importantly, the factual arguments which are required to make a successful case. We are happy to discuss different fee arrangements to meet your needs in preparing a position statement with a view to crystallising the Dispute.
Adjudication is a fast-paced, intense form of dispute resolution. It is quite often conducted entirely with written submissions which normally follow the following process:
- Notice of Adjudication
- Referral to Adjudication
- Reply to Response
- Re-Surrejoinder…and so on.
Due to the tight timeframe of Adjudication, it is not always the case that all of the submissions listed are made.
After the Adjudication process it is rarely the case that enforcement proceeding will be commenced, however, if it is required we will be able to assist in this process.
If we are acting for the successful party looking to enforce and Adjudicator’s decision, we are able to provide a Fixed Fee, based on a straightforward summary judgment procedure in the High Court.
We ensure that we have transparent fees so that you are not ambushed with legal fees at the end of a job. We are able to provide a Fixed Fee structure for certain elements of work – so you know exactly what fees will be incurred – or to discuss a more holistic approach. Please contact us if you would like to discuss a tailored fee structure for your dispute.
We are happy to discuss alternative fee arrangements. Please see here for information about Capital Dispute Finance.