The parties to a design and construct contract were in dispute about whether an adjudication decision was valid. That included disputes on a number of matters including what constituted the relevant payment schedule under s 69 of the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017 (a superintendent’s determination or a subsequent letter from a solicitor) and whether the adjudicator could rely on a statutory declaration and expert report in the determination of delay costs claims and whether the reasons in that regard were unsatisfactory.
The Court upheld the Applicant’s grounds on the former issue and declared the decision void. The Court accepted the Applicant’s arguments about the payment schedule, finding that the first of the documents was not a schedule (including because the superintendent only “recommended” payment) and was not “identified” in the Adjudication Application in the manner the statute required. However the Court rejected the Applicant’s grounds on the latter argument, finding that the adjudicator was entitled to rely on the material before him and that his reasons were not deficient.
Michael Trim (leading M Steele) appeared for the applicant, instructed by McInnes Wilson.
The judgment is published here.