Once you have got your decision from an Adjudicator, if the decision is not complied with you can take that off to the Court for enforcement.
By and large, the Courts apply a principle of “pay up now and argue later” meaning that with limited exceptions Adjudicator’s decisions made in compliance with the relevant adjudication procedure and with the rules of natural justice will be enforced. This will apply even if the Adjudicator has misinterpreted the relevant law. The Courts take this stance given that there always the option for either party to take their dispute to be determined in some other forum if they wish to, but after having complied with the adjudication decision.
However, this principle can come under pressure. This includes where there is a question as to whether there is a contract on which an Adjudication could be based. In Dacy v IDM Properties (2016)
the Court declined to enforce the decision of an Adjudicator where there were issues as to whether the oral contract relied upon had come about at all. It is possible to commence an adjudication based on a dispute arising under a written or oral contract, but there does ultimately need to be a contract to give an Adjudicator the jurisdiction to make a legally binding determination.
In Dacy, the Court decided that there was more than a “fanciful” argument that despite works having been undertaken and payments made for those works that there was insufficient agreement between the parties to evidence a contract. As such, the decision could not be enforced and a full trial of the relevant facts would be required.
For more information please contact Colin Jones on 01223 461155 or click here
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