A key part of our practice both in the UK and Ireland, a number of our team are adjudication specialists, working on claims from pre-crystallisation through to enforcement.


Adjudication is a vital part of dispute resolution for the conduction industry. We have been involved in adjudication since the HGRCA 1996 (UK) and the 2013 Construction Contracts Act (Ireland) came into force and are regularly instructed on statutory and contractual adjudications in these jurisdictions and worldwide.

Our detailed knowledge of the adjudication process coupled with our 50+ years’ experience of advising on the full range of disputes that can arise from construction projects gives us unparalleled expertise in adjudication.

Over the last 25 years we have acted in adjudications concerning payment entitlement (including smash and grab), final accounts, delay, extensions of time, loss and/or expense (including prolongation and disruption costs), variations, suspension and termination, defective design, and professional negligence. We have also dealt with adjudications for declarations as to contractual interpretation. A snapshot of our recent experience is below.

This has enabled us to gain considerable experience in bringing and defending adjudications across the full range of disputes that have been used in this forum including the vital need to quickly:

  • ascertain any jurisdictional issues;
  • marshal and manage the necessary evidence;
  • assemble the necessary team for the adjudication; and
  • draft robust, concise submissions.

We also understand the commercial and relationship impact a dispute can have.  We advise on settlement strategies before, during and after adjudication to put our client in the strongest position possible.

We offer training to clients on the adjudication process, including jurisdiction and claim preparation, as well as providing regular case law updates and webinars on key developments.

Our Adjudication Experience

Claim for damages allegedly caused by defective design

We successfully acted for a firm of structural engineers in an adjudication commenced by a main contractor which sought c£5.8m in damages allegedly caused by defective design of the substructure and foundations. We prepared a robust response including expert reports (engineering, geotechnical and quantum) and following submissions the adjudicator awarded the contractor just £3,500 (0.06% of the claim) and ordered they pay all the adjudicator’s fees.

Series of adjudications arising from disputed variations

We acted for a contractor in a series of adjudications brought by a sub-contractor relating the validity and value of variations arising from external works.  These involved working with the client and quantum expert in valuing the change and presenting the assessment in a clear, concise way. The assessments carried out in the adjudications ultimately led to the parties negotiating a settlement.

Claim for a declaration of delay caused by a sub-contractor

We acted for a contractor in an adjudication which sought a declaration as to the delays caused to the Main Contract Works by a sub-contractor across several contractual sections on a large mixed-use development, working with the delay expert to support the claim. The matter settled prior to the decision being issued.

Dispute over the value of variations

We acted for a contractor in preparing a Referral related to the value of a number of variations arising from a school extension project, using an independent QS to verify the sums sought. Our draft Referral was issued to successful negotiate a settlement.

Payment dispute

We acted for a contractor in a claim against the Employer arising from the Employer’s failure to issue a payment notice or payless notice under a heavily amended NEC3 ECC. The value in dispute was £1.6m and our draft Referral was issued to successful negotiate a settlement.

Delay claim against a sub-contractor

We acted for a contractor who sought a declaration of the extent of the delay caused by a sub-contractor across a number of contractual sections for a £270m residential and commercial scheme.  The claim also included consideration of the sub-contractor’s entitlement to an extension of time and the operation of the contractual extension of time clause as against the basis of the sub-contractor’s works.

Payment dispute

Advising an architect in respect of their claim for additional fees of c£400k arising from a number of client-lead amendments to the scope of works on a commercial and residential redevelopment and prolongation. Adjudication stayed to allow for a successful settlement negotiation.

Series of adjudications arising from defective works

We acted for the Employer on a domestic house-build on a series of adjudications against the contractor for defective work culminating in successfully obtaining a declaration from an Adjudicator that the termination of the contractor’s employment was valid.

Dispute over the payment of compensation events

We acted for the architectural lead in respect of a fee claim of approximately £750k against the main contractor in relation to compensation events on a large infrastructure project in London. Our client was appointed under a NEC3 PSC. There were issues of notifications of compensation events, assessment of quotations and rebutting attempts to re-open previously agreed compensation events.

True value adjudication and concurrent smash and grab adjudication

We acted for a sub-contractor on a large civils project in respect of a payment dispute. Following the contractor’s failure to issue a payment notice or payless notice on time, they commenced a true value adjudication seeking a decision that our client had been overpaid. We countered with a smash and grab adjudication for £1.9m.  Our client’s response set out the entitlement to a number of variations. Following service of our client’s Rejoinder the matter was settled.

Financial value of a repudiated contract

We acted for the Employer in defending a claim for c£800k arising from a previous adjudication that found that the contractor had been incorrectly terminated by our client and the contractor had accepted the repudiatory breach. Arguments related to the correct basis for and valuation of loss and expense caused by an invalid termination. The contractor recovered approximately 35% of their claim.

Enforcement of a decision

We acted for the Employer in the enforcement of an adjudicator’s decision related to loss and expense due from the contractor to the Employer. Commencement of proceedings led to settlement of the overall account.

Claim for professional negligence arising from a foundation design

We acted for the structural and civil engineer in respect of a claim brought by the Lead Designer for an indemnity/contribution for an adjudication brought against the Lead Designer by the Employer related to the allegedly defective design of the foundations to a culvert. The basis of the claim was whether the Employer was correct in awarding the contractor a compensation event valued at £750k. The two adjudications were dealt with together by the same Adjudicator. We successful defeated the Employer’s claim that the design was deficient and that the event that occurred was in any event a contractor’s risk.

Claim for defects and deductions from final account; true value assessment defence

We acted for a façade sub-contractor who was employed on an extensive residential and commercial scheme in London. Their Employer, the main contractor, commenced an adjudication arising from leaks to atrium glazing allegedly caused by our client.  The main contractor sought recovery of losses of c£700k.  We responded to the detailed expert report submitted by the main contractor identifying the cause of the leaks was the design, as well as establishing the that the true value of our client’s final account was more than our client had been paid and that by the jurisdiction granted to the Adjudicator, payment could be awarded to our client. The decision rejected the defects claim and our client was awarded a further payment c£110k.

Defending a claim for a declaration that a termination valid

We acted for a sub-contractor specialising in the erection of steel frame systems on residential and commercial buildings following their termination allegedly due to a failure to proceed regularly and diligently. The employer adjudicated for a declaration that the termination was valid. This had a number of legal issues regarding contractual interpretation and entitlement to termination.  The Adjudicator found in our client’s favour on every point. As a result of winning the adjudication, we were able to negotiate a settlement in respect of our client’s final account including damages arising from the repudiation of the contract.

Claims for payment: smash and grab and true value

We defended multiple linked smash-and-grab adjudications against a contractor and commenced a true value adjudication in response, including addressing highly-contested jurisdictional questions and potential injunctions, which permitted our client to conclude a favourable settlement in relation to the applications in question.