Some of us are old enough (just) to remember life before statutory adjudication was a thing, before the Construction Act 1996 was enacted and came into force. Those giddy days of the early 1990’s when the idea of responding to a notice of adjudication within a matter of days (not weeks or months or even years) was a mere twinkle in Sir Michael Latham’s eye (and horrified the rest of us)! Roll forward to 2021 and statutory adjudication is an integral part of the legal landscape that most construction practitioners have only ever known.
It is with this backdrop that I find events in Ireland of particular interest. Jonathan and I have been writing about Ireland’s Construction Contracts Act 2013 since long before it came into force in 2016. For example, see Behold the Celtic adjudication tiger (almost), Comparing adjudication enforcement in Ireland and England, More thoughts on adjudication in Ireland and Adjudication in Ireland is finally a reality.
Adjudication may be a relatively new feature in the Irish dispute resolution landscape but we are finally starting to see the odd court judgment filtering through the system. I began the year discussing O’Donovan and another v Bunni and others, then added a comment to that post about Gravity Construction Ltd v Total Highway Maintenance Ltd. Now it is time to turn the spotlight on Construgomes & Carlos Gomes SA v Dragados Ireland Ltd and others.
One thing all three cases have in common is the fact that none are dealing with enforcement issues per se but, in my view, all three demonstrate the court’s intention to support the adjudication process. Continue reading