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Contract Adjudicators’ Decisions Are Usually Final

Football stadiumThose who submit contract disputes to adjudicators will normally have to live with their decisions, however much they may disagree with them. In illustration of the point, a company was ordered to pay more than £300,000 after its multi-pronged attack on an adjudicator’s award fell on fallow ground at the High Court.

Company A had contracted company B to carry out electrical works in executive boxes at a sports stadium. They fell out over payment due for the work and, after the dispute was referred to the adjudicator, he awarded company B £332,239. Company A argued that the adjudicator lacked jurisdiction to resolve the dispute and that the procedure he followed breached the requirements of natural justice.

Directing enforcement of the adjudicator’s award, the Court rejected arguments that his appointment had been infected by fraud. The straightforward issues involved in the dispute had crystallised prior to the adjudication and the tight timetable imposed on the parties did not give rise to any unfairness. Company A was ordered to pay the full amount of the award within seven days, plus interest and costs.