REUTERS | Stephen Hird

Christmas cheer for adjudicators

Mr Justice Coulson’s judgment in Westwood Structural Services Ltd v Blyth Wood Park Management Company Ltd caught my eye last week. The judgment may not rock the legal world to its foundations, but it is uplifting reading for all those involved in adjudication. There are two reasons for this:

First, it underlines the TCC’s robust approach to enforcing adjudicator’s decisions. This is good news for the construction industry as a whole.

Second, it is a vote of confidence in the quality of the adjudicator’s decision itself. The adjudicator had to deal with a tricky legal question about whether payment under one of his previous decisions could be avoided if the underlying construction contract was terminated. The adjudicator decided that payment should still be made. The TCC does not look behind an adjudicator’s decision to check whether it is correct, but Mr Justice Coulson took the opportunity to tell us that he thought the adjudicator had probably got it right.

What a shame then that the adjudicator was not named by the judge. How unfair, not to name him and give him his moment of fame (and a bit of free publicity). If anyone knows his name, perhaps we can rectify that omission now. And before you ask, it wasn’t me!

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