The respondant successfully resisted enforcement as they argued that the Adjudicator did not have Jusisdiction over the reference given they argued there was no agreement between the parties in the first instance.
In an unusal case which involved a cross over of various parties and interlinking sister companies, the Respondant successfuly argued it had a realistic prospect of succeeding in its defence that there was simply no contract between it and the climant.
The case brings to light the necessity of documents to support the existance of, and nature of agreements should you wish to rely upon on the adjudication process. The Construction Contracts Act 2013 has defined a Construction Contract to mean an agreement whether or not in writing. The court referenced the events preceeding the alleged agreement and subsequent to same in order to confirm the position and the ruling goes to demonstrate the dangers of operating in the verbal world.
The case also, again, highlighted the necessity for a party in an adjudication that contends that the adjudicator lacks jurisdiction for whatever reason, to raise that objection promptly and clearly. If he does, he may then participate in the adjudication without affecting his right to resist the enforcement of any decision on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction
Keith Kelliher is an Accredited Adjudicator, who has completed the Diploma in Adjudication in University College Dublin, specifically on the Construction Contracts Act 2013, and has represented Clients, Main Contractors and Sub-Contractors in payment disputes for over 17 years in the Irish construction industry. Contact Keith at firstname.lastname@example.org for any assistance with the requirements of the ACT.