Ringway Infrastructure Services Limited V Vauxhall Motors Limited (Part II)

The contractor was entitled to interest on the sum awarded by the adjudicator for the period of time ordered by the adjudicator notwithstanding that it could properly be said that the contractor was entitled to interest for a longer period of time
 
RINGWAY INFRASTRUCTURE SERVICES LIMITED V VAUXHALL MOTORS LIMITED (Part II)

Technology and Construction Court
Akenhead J
30 October 2007
 
The contract incorporated JCT 98 With Contractor's Design. The contractor made an interim payment application but the employer refused to make any payment in respect of that application. It could properly be said that the amount applied for became the amount payable on a specified date in the light of the relevant payment provisions of JCT 98 WCD and the employer's failure to make any payment. The adjudicator awarded the contractor the sum it had applied for but awarded interest on that sum to begin on a date some weeks after that specified date. The contractor succeeded in obtaining summary judgment on the sum awarded by the adjudicator in the court enforcement proceedings it brought after the employer failed to honour that award. The contractor contended that it was entitled to interest on the sum awarded from the date it arguably became due under JCT 98 in consequence of the employer's failure to respond to its application notwithstanding that the adjudicator only ordered that interest should begin to run from a later date.
 
Akenhead J held that whilst the court had a discretion under section 35A(1) of the Supreme Court Act 1981 to award interest for the period between the date when the cause of action arose and the date of payment or judgment, that discretion should not be exercised where the adjudicator awarded interest to the contractor on the sum awarded to it from a specified date notwithstanding that it could properly be said arguable that the contractor's cause of action in respect of that sum arose on an earlier date. The nature of the enforcement of adjudicators' decisions was contractual and clause 39A.7.2 of JCT 98 WCD required the parties to comply with such decisions. The contractor's cause of action upon which it relied in the court enforcement proceedings was the employer's breach of clause 39A.7.2 (rather than the employer's failure to pay the sum in the contractor's interim payment application after having failed to respond to that application). Whilst the court did have a discretion under section 35A(1), the goalposts or limits of that discretion were the date when the cause of action arose and the date of judgment.
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