What is construction adjudication?
1 May 1998 was a milestone for the construction industry – that was the date that the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 was enacted which gave any party (with some exceptions), to a construction contract the right to refer a dispute or difference to Adjudication. The Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 was amended on 1 October 2011 by the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Regeneration Act 2009 (“The Construction Act”), but 2 decades from the implementation of the original Act, Adjudication remains by far the most popular method for resolving construction disputes.
For those construction contracts caught under The Construction Act, it is mandatory to provide an adjudication procedure, failing that a statutory procedure is provided which is referred to as ‘The Scheme’.
As well as statutory Adjudication, many standard forms of contract, such as the NEC, now include Adjudication as a Term under the contract (‘Contract Adjudication’), together with their own adjudication rules, although some standard forms of contract, like the JCT suite, have adopted The Scheme.
The reason why Adjudication is such a popular method for resolving construction disputes is the speed at which a High Court enforced Adjudicator’s Decision is arrived at – usually 28 days from the date that the matter is referred to an Adjudicator, which Arbitration or Litigation just cannot compete with.
However, not all disputes are suitable for adjudication, and only an experienced practitioner can advise on whether Adjudication is suitable for the matter in hand.
Construction adjudication solicitors
The practitioners at Michael Gerard Solicitors have been at the forefront of Adjudication since May 1998 and have not only advised and guided many clients through the adjudication process but have also been appointed as Adjudicators, both by agreement and by way of nomination via the various Adjudicator Nomination Panels such as the Royal Institute of British Architects, the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and the Chartered Institute of Building.
The nature of adjudication requires a fast service from initial advice regarding the dispute to the preparation and presentation of the submissions and associated documentation.
Michael Gerard Solicitors can provide such a service due to its flexibility both in terms of the allocation of resources and staff support, breadth of expertise and experience of dispute resolution within the construction industry.