Building Law Monthly

Adjudicator erred in concluding he was bound by decision in previous adjudication between the parties

Sudlows Ltd v Global Switch Estates 1 Ltd [2022] EWHC 3319 (TCC)

In Sudlows Ltd v Global Switch Estates 1 Ltd [2022] EWHC 3319 (TCC), Waksman J held that an adjudicator had breached the principles of natural justice in that he had taken too narrow a view of his jurisdiction as a result of his erroneous conclusion that he was bound by the findings made by an adjudicator in a prior adjudication between the parties. Although both adjudications concerned a claim for an extension of time where reliance was placed on the same causes of delay, the two adjudications could not be said to concern the same or substantially the same dispute given that the claim for an extension of time in the second of the two adjudications concerned a later period of time and, more importantly, there was new material in evidence as to the cause of the delay which had not been available in the prior adjudication. The claimant was therefore not entitled to enforce the primary decision of the adjudicator in its favour. However, the adjudicator had taken the step of making an alternative finding in the event that he was found to have erred in concluding that he was bound by the decision in the previous adjudication. This alternative decision, in which the claimant was found to be liable to make a payment to the defendant, was held to be binding on the parties and so was enforced by Waksman J.

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