REUTERS | Mike Blake

Are parties paying-up rather than challenging adjudicators’ decisions?

Is it just me, or is anyone else wondering what has happened to all those enforcement proceedings in the TCC, which we got so used to reading about? You may recall that there was a flurry of activity at the end of last year and at the start of this year, but in recent weeks, the TCC has been remarkably quiet. As an adjudicator, I have seen no let up in the amount of referrals and anecdotally, whoever I talk to (solicitor, barrister, adjudicator) seems as busy as ever.

Often the adjudicator doesn’t hear about what happens between the parties once the decision has been issued, unless there is a problem with payment of his fee (and that’s a topic for another day), or the adjudication is just one of many that the parties take part in.

Are parties paying up? In these cash-strapped times, it would be nice to think that the paying party is paying up, rather than resorting to clever (and sometimes successful) arguments about why the money shouldn’t be handed over. This really doesn’t do anyone any good. The obvious consequence is that it keeps the unpaid party out of its money for longer and could lead to other issues, such as the insolvency of the unpaid party.

One conclusion I could draw from this is that the TCC has been so successful in shutting the door to enforcement challenges that parties really are paying up, rather than continuing the fight, wasting time and money in the process. Another, more negative conclusion, is that the losing party is not good for the money, i.e. it is insolvent?

I’d be interested to know what others think.

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