What is Adjudication? | The Adjudication Process

by | Dec 9 2020 | Civil Litigation

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By Alex Ashcroft
Alex heads up LGBT Lawyers' web design and writes about LGBT legal issues in his spare time. While not part of the LGBT community himself, Alex is an avid supporter of LGBT rights. With interests in politics and connections in Brighton's LGBT music scene, Alex brings another valuable perspective to LGBT life.

Adjudication | Read Time 5-7 Minutes. 

An adjudication is a form of dispute resolution which is commonly used in the UK construction industry. It is a strategy of dispute resolution which involves an independent third party who makes considerations of both parties claims. Moreover, adjudication is a form of dispute resolution which is used to settle disputes without expensive and lengthy court procedures. 

The process of adjudication can be used for resolving claims which relate to interim payments, delay, and disruption of the works. Furthermore, it can also be used for defects in the works, the final account, and extensions of time for completion of work. Consequently, adjudication is considered as one of the most powerful forms of alternative dispute resolution in the construction industry. However, individuals can use adjudication for complex claims which may include breach of contract, professional negligence, and termination of a contract. 

What is adjudication?

Adjudication is a process in which two (or more) people determine diagnoses given specific criteria. Each team involved with a matter has the same data but are not able to see the determinations made by the other adjudicators until all the decisions have been submitted.

An adjudication is a legal ruling or judgment. However, it can also refer to the process of settling a claim or legal case through the court or justice system. It usually refers to the final pronouncement in a case that will determine the strategic action with regards to the issue. Furthermore, there is no right of appeal and limited right to resist the enforcement of adjudication.

An adjudicator can be anyone the parties agree it to be. The adjudicator is usually a construction professional and an expert in the subject matter of the dispute. Moreover, the adjudicator’s decision is binding only up until the dispute is determined by litigation or by an agreement. However, in practice, adjudicated decisions typically do not progress to litigation or arbitration and are usually accepted as the outcome by the parties.

Adjudication - man sat down at a desk - LGBT Lawyers

The role of the adjudicator

The role of an adjudicator involves reviewing details of the assigned cases and making a legally binding determination which is enforceable. Furthermore, the final decision made by the adjudicator is interim binding. Interim binding entails that their decision is binding until the dispute is determined by arbitration, legal proceedings or by agreement.

How does adjudication work?

Typically, the process of adjudication involves:

1. Notice of adjudication – The process of adjudication is initiated by a written notice of adjudication, which outlines the details of the dispute.

2. Appointment – The parties must decide on appointing an adjudicator. The appointment of an adjudicator must be secured within seven days of the notice of adjudication. Furthermore, the individuals can agree on an individual to act as the adjudicator. Alternatively, an application can be made to an Adjudicator Nominating Body (ANB).

3. Claim – The claim process allows the parties involved in the dispute to submit their respective cases and evidence to the adjudicator. The time frame for submitting the respective cases and evidence is extremely short in comparison to litigation or arbitration.

4. Response – A respondent to the adjudication proceedings may serve a written response to the adjudication claim within five working days after receiving the claim. The written response may be accompanied by any other documents such as evidence, authorities, and materiel the respondent wishes to use in support of its response to the claim.

5. Reply – The claimant is entitled to serve a written reply to the respondent’s response to the claim within five working days of the receipt of the response.

6. Rejoinder – An adjudicator may allow the respondent up to two working days to serve a rejoinder to the claimant’s reply.

7. Determination – Finally, the adjudicator makes a final decision which is referred to as a determination. Furthermore, the determination made by the adjudicator decides whether the parties are liable to make any payments. The adjudicator decision is binding and will be received within 28 days.

Key advantages of using adjudication?

There are various key advantages of using adjudication over litigation or arbitration. Some of these advantages include: 

 1. Speed – By using adjudication, you can get a decision within 28 days of the service of the referral document. If you were to settle through court, it could take up to a year to get a trail. 

2. Costings – A key advantage of adjudication is that regardless of the outcome, both parties involved in the dispute must cover their own costs. Although the referring party must cover its own costs, the costs involved are spread over a shorter period than if the dispute was settled with litigation. Moreover, the referring party has reduced financial risk as they do not run the risk of having to cover the opposing party’s costs if the claim is unsuccessful. 

3. Payments – Payments which are owed can be enforced without waiting for an arbitration award. Furthermore, because of the fast turnaround times in the adjudication process can result in businesses receiving a significant cash injection. 

The disadvantages of using adjudication

1. There are some drawbacks to using adjudication as a form of alternative dispute management. The drawbacks include:
Examination – Unlike litigation, there is insufficient time in the adjudication process which allows for in-depth and careful examinations of the issues and facts.

2. Meeting – There may not be an opportunity to meet with the adjudicator as commonly the matters are determined on paper. Contrary to litigation, witnesses are unlikely to be cross-examined.

3. Costly – Legal and expert fees are not usually recoverable.

How a solicitor who specialises in adjudication can help?

Expert legal advice is essential if an adjudication notice is received. Once received everything from then of could determine your rights within the process. Therefore, if you slip up and make a wrong move, you may end up losing the case because of it. 

When receiving a notice, the referring party may not actually have the right to commence adjudication under contract or legislation. If you continue to participate, then you may validate an adjudication that was not initially valid. A solicitor can help you to identify early in the process if the referring party has the right to commence an adjudication. 

How can LGBT Lawyers help?

LGBT Lawyers will put you in connection with a lawyer who will assist you by providing you with extensive knowledge about adjudication in England and Wales. Our lawyers are specialised in handling adjudication cases specific to the LGBT community. We understand disputes can be stressful for anyone with a sensitive disagreement; therefore, we take extra care to ensure you receive the best service possible.

At LGBT Lawyers, we tailor our legal services specifically to the LGBT community and everything that being LGBT entails. Our network of regulated and qualified LGBT Lawyers will ensure your legal requirements are met.

Finally, if you have any questions or want to discuss a legal matter or do not know where to start, click here. Alternatively, you can call us on 020 3795 9020 or email us at info@lgbtlawyers.co.uk.

 

 

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