Brenton v Palmer

It was not the case that the adjudicator acted without jurisdiction by reason of the true party to the contract being the defendant's company (rather than the defendant himself) with the result that the adjudicator's decision in the claimant's favour against the defendant should be enforced
 
The issue for determination was whether the adjudicator acted without jurisdiction where the defendant in the court enforcement proceedings alleged that the correct party to the contract was the defendant's company rather than the defendant himself. Judge Havery held that it was not the case, as the defendant contended, that the adjudicator acted without jurisdiction by reason of the true party to the contract being the defendant's company (rather than the defendant himself) and that the adjudicator's decision in the claimant's favour against the defendant should not be enforced. The decision should therefore be enforced by way of summary judgement. It was common ground that if the adjudicator was wrong in his factual finding that the true defendant was the defendant's company, then he had no jurisdiction to decide the dispute. Dyson J in Macob Civil Engineering v Morrison Construction (1999) stated that an adjudicator's decision on the issue referred to him was such whether or not he erred on the facts or the law or made a procedural error which invalidated the decision but that different considerations applied if he purported to make a decision which he was not empowered by the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 to make. In the instant case the adjudicator purported to make a decision which he was empowered by the Act to make and if he made any error which in fact resulted in his having no jurisdiction, it was an error of fact which it was certainly within his jurisdiction to make. Advice Note This case once again emphasises the broad ramifications of the decision of Dyson J in the seminal case of Macob Civil Engineering v Morrison Construction. Dyson J held that it was irrelevant to the enforceability of a decision that the adjudicator made an error of fact or law unless he purported to make a decision which he was not empowered to make under the Act. Judge Havery's finding in this case demonstrates that the adjudicator is even empowered to decide which was the true contracting party.
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