Rok Building Ltd V Celtic Composting Systems Ltd (Part I)

The sum allowed by adjudicator's decision should be enforced by its payment by the contractor without any set off within 14 days of the date of the court hearing
 

ROK BUILDING LTD V CELTIC COMPOSTING SYSTEMS LTD

 
Technology and Construction Court
Akenhead J
30 October 2009

 

 
The sum allowed by adjudicator's decision should be enforced by its payment by the contractor without any set off within 14 days of the date of the court hearing
 
There were delays to the sub-contract works. There were issues between the parties as to responsibility for the delays and whether the sub-contractor had completed the works. One of the events said by the sub-contractor to have delayed progress was flooding to the site. The sub-contractor claimed that this was a compensation event and it was entitled to an extension of time of 19 weeks and loss and expense in consequence of this event. The contractor rejected these claims and the sub-contractor referred to resultant dispute to adjudication. The adjudicator at the conclusion of his decision stated that the sub-contractor should be paid an additional specified sum in relation to its interim payment application in respect of the compensation event arising from the flooding on the site and that the contractor should pay interest on the sum awarded in the specified sum from the day after the date of issue of the decision. The contractor did not pay either of these sums and took the point that the decision was not, in a directive sense, requiring payment specifically to be made within a set time or at all. The sub-contractor brought court enforcement proceedings.
 
Akenhead J enforced the decision and ordered the contractor to pay allowed by the adjudicator's decision should be enforced by its payment by the contractor without any set off within 14 days of the date of the court hearing. He stated that it was well established law and practice in the context of construction adjudications that valid adjudicators' decisions were to be enforced in effect without set off or cross claims. Set offs or cross claims were to be raised in the adjudication with the adjudicator either allowing or disallowing them. It was not appropriate that the losing party raised on enforcement proceedings the same set offs or cross claims which had already been adjudicated upon or new set offs or cross claims. The adjudicator in his statements at the conclusion of his decision was calling for payment by the contractor and directing that the sums in question be paid by the contractor. He was not simply declaring what the value of the sub-contractor’s claims for compensation and interest were with a view to them being the subject matter of later adjustment in certificates.
 
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