Challenge of adjudication decisions

By Rebecca Barrass Associate

Adjudications can be a useful tool for parties who want a dispute decided quickly and cost-eff ectively. But what happens when you receive an adjudication decision that you are not happy with? Usually, a party can only

challenge an adjudicator’s decision on one of the following grounds: ● T ere has been a

breach of ‘natural justice’ by the adjudicator; or ● T e adjudicator has

acted outside of their ‘jurisdiction’. A breach of

natural justice can be argued where there has been some sort of procedural or inherent unfairness in the adjudication procedure. For example, if one party has not been given proper opportunity to set out its case, or there is some evidence of bias on the part of the adjudicator. Arguments in relation to

an adjudicator’s jurisdiction can be more complex, but in broad terms, refer to whether the adjudicator had the power to make the decision that they did. Common challenges include: ● T e adjudicator did not

decide the dispute put to them in the Notice of Adjudication; or ● T e adjudicator was not

properly appointed to decide the dispute.

Case law shows that

the courts are reluctant to interfere in the decisions of adjudicators and will only do so if there has been a very clear breach of natural justice or jurisdictional issue. Importantly, a party

cannot challenge an adjudicator’s decision just because they think they got the decision wrong, either because they made an error in relation to the facts or because there has been an error in law. In that scenario, a party wishing to challenge a decision would normally have to raise its claim afresh in court (or arbitration

depending on the

terms of the contract). T ere are merits in this

approach. Court actions give parties more time to assess a claim and give proper thought to all of the issues, but that does mean there is a time and cost implication. Overall, a party’s options

when it comes to challenging the decision of an adjudicator are limited and potentially costly so it is important for them be aware of the risks and potential outcomes should the decision not go their way.

● For more advice, contact Rebecca Barrass on 0141 303 1164 or email rebecca.


From COVID-19 to the South China Sea, there’s currently a perfect storm of challenges for electrical wholesalers – but greater communication and collaboration with contractor customers could help both parties

challenges faced by electrical wholesalers in every EDA survey since July 2020. And in every EDA survey


By Anne Vessey Head of Marketing & Communications, Electrical Distributors’ Association

or the last 18 months, UK businesses have been grappling with a barrage of

inter-connected supply chain issues: COVID-19, Brexit, shipping container shortages and sky-high prices, shipping delays in the Suez Canal and the Pearl River Delta/South China Sea, a shortage of HGV drivers and so on. According to our regular Electrical Distributors’ Association (EDA) surveys, which we introduced in the early part of 2020, ‘product availability’ has featured in the top three of the most pressing businesses

we’ve published this year, electrical wholesalers have voted ‘product availability’ their most pressing business challenge, with ‘manufacturer price increases’ and ‘lack of awareness of supply chain issues amongst contractors’ in second and third place respectively. Product availability is an issue right across the construction sector, not only electrotechnical. Timber, cement, roofi ng products – you name it, all are experiencing challenges. Electrical wholesalers are telling us that they are doing everything they can to help ease the situation: increasing stock holdings (where possible), having “open and honest” conversations with contractor customers across the trade counter, regular email bulletins to customers, posting product lead times on websites, and working collaboratively with customers to plan ahead. Since the start of the pandemic, the EDA has held regular ‘Talking Shop’ meetings on Zoom at which wholesalers and manufacturers exchange views and information that help keep the supply chain fl owing. Guest speakers from

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