Adjudication is the procedure for resolving disputes outside of court, the adjudication is concluded by an adjudicator, whose decision is binding on the parties until the dispute is finally determined by legal proceedings, arbitration or by agreement.
1. Notice of Adjudication
The adjudication process begins when the referring party gives written notice to the other party.
The Scheme for Construction Contracts states that the Notice of Adjudication should set out the following:
– A brief description of the dispute and the parties;
– When and where the dispute arose;
– What remedies are being sought; and
– Names and addresses of the parties to the Contract.
2. Appointment of Adjudicator
The referring party applies for the person named in the contract to act as adjudicator or, if no one is named, applies to one of the nominating bodies to nominate an adjudicator.
The appointment of the adjudicator should take place within 7 days of the submission of the Notice of Adjudication.
3. Referral Notice
Within 7 days of the service of the Notice of Adjudication, the referring party must serve its Referral Notice to the adjudicator and the other party.
The Referral Notice should:
– be consistent with the notice of adjudication;
– explain the nature of the dispute and how it arose;
– detail the facts that you rely upon;
– provide the documentary evidence to support those facts;
– provide sufficient details of the contract to show that you have a contractual right to the remedy which you seek; and
– list the decisions that you require the adjudicator to make.
The adjudicator will then ask the responding party to serve its response (defence) to the claim, usually within 14 days from the date of the referral notice. Sometimes there are further submissions by both parties.
5. The Adjudicator’s Decision
The adjudicator has 28 days from the date of the Referral Notice to make a decision. The adjudicator can extend this by up to 14 days with the referring party’s consent (any further extension requires the agreement of both parties).