Adjudication is a ‘fast track’ contractual dispute resolution procedure that applies to building contracts and professional appointments for construction projects in the UK

We are specialists in construction disputes

What is adjudication?

  • Adjudication is a ‘fast track’, typically 28 to 42 days, contractual dispute resolution procedure
  • It applies to all building contracts, professional appointments etc for construction projects in the UK although there are some, limited exceptions
  • You cannot ‘contract out’ of adjudication
  • A dispute, usually over money, time and/or quality, is decided by an adjudicator appointed either by agreement or, more typically, by an Adjudicator Nominating Body (ANB)
  • The parties exchange written submissions and documents, and the adjudicator can decide if they want a meeting. The adjudicator is in control of the procedure
  • The adjudicator’s decision is binding and must be complied with until either the parties settle the dispute, or it is finally resolved by the court or by arbitration
  • A decision that is not complied with voluntarily can be enforced by the courts through an established fast track procedure
  • An adjudicator is not liable to the parties even if their decision is wrong

How can Maples Teesdale help you?

We can, for a fixed fee:

  • tell you if adjudication applies to your contract, agreement etc
  • recommend alternative ways by which you can try to resolve a dispute, thereby avoiding the time and cost etc of adjudication

If adjudication cannot be avoided, we can for agreed fixed or capped fees:

  • advise how your claim/response should be presented, i.e. what evidence, documents etc you need to prove your case
  • recommend if you need independent expert advice, such as a programming expert, in order to prove your case

When adjudication starts, we can take the lead in pursuing your claim or defending the claim against you. Alternatively, you can take the lead and we can assist in the background as/when you require our input and advice

After an adjudicator’s decision has been made, we can:

  •  act for you in court proceedings to enforce an adjudicator’s decision in your favour, or
  • act for you in contesting enforcement proceedings where, for example, the adjudicator had no jurisdiction or conducted the adjudication unfairly

We can, where appropriate, assist you in challenging the adjudicator’s conduct of the adjudication and/or the fees charged

The cost of adjudication

  • While low-cost schemes are available for low value disputes, adjudication is not ‘cheap’
  • Adjudicators charge on an hourly basis, typically £250 plus VAT upwards, and ANBs charge administrative fees for nominating adjudicators
  • You cannot, unless the parties agree, recover your legal costs of an adjudication even where you win, i.e. each party must pay their own costs
  • The adjudicator decides who will pay his/her fees and expenses and in what amount, although the loser is usually ordered to pay these
  • However, the parties are jointly and severally liable for the adjudicator’s fees and expenses, i.e. if the loser fails to pay these the winner must pay them and seek reimbursement from the loser
  • The legal cost of enforcing an adjudicator’s decision in the courts is recoverable in the normal way

Key Contacts

Michael Craik

Consultant, Construction 020 3465 4351 View profile