Durham County Council V Kendall

The architect's challenges in the court proceeedings to the adjudicator's jurisdiction, if valid, would not prevent the adjudicator's decision from being enforced since the architect had waived any rights to raise such challenges


Durham County Council V Kendall
Technology and Construction Court
Akenhead J
31 March 2011
Akenhead J held that if any of the architect’s challenges in the court proceedings to the adjudicator’s jurisdiction had succeeded on their merits, they would not prevented the adjudicator’s decision from being enforced on the ground that the architect had waived any rights to raise any jurisdictional challenges in those proceedings.
The judge in giving his reasons for his decision first cited statements by Ramsey J in GPS Marine Contractors v Ringway Infrastructure Services (2010) in relation to general jurisdictional reservations which suggested that such a reservation with the use of appropriate wording should suffice to reserve the position of a defending party in adjudication. However, the judge went on to say that it was necessary to interpret what it was that the responding party in the adjudication had said in order to determine whether a general reservation had been set up or maintained. The architect’s first, third, fourth and fifth jurisdictional reservations were specific reservations on specific points. The language used by the architect in making those reservations was clearly related to the specific jurisdictional points which had been raised or "related" issues, for example that it reserved the right to raise any or all of these points and the jurisdiction points previously raised and/or related points. This type of reservation went to the points raised and not to any general jurisdictional complaint. The architect’s one reservation which was general was the second one where the language used by the architect was clearly general and the architect stated that he reserved the right to raise any jurisdictional and/or other issues in due course, whether previously raised or not. It was clear that the architect ultimately pinned its jurisdictional objection colours only to the mast of specific jurisdictional objections rather than a general objection. In more legal language the architect was clearly abandoning any general jurisdictional objection. Any reasonable party and the adjudicator would have understood by the conclusion of the adjudication that the only jurisdictional objections being maintained were the specific ones. It therefore followed that the architect had waived any rights to raise any further jurisdictional challenges since none of the challenges raised in the court proceedings (other than that of the architect’s identity) were specifically raised by the architect or his firm before the adjudicator.