Adjudication is a process whereby the parties in dispute appoint an adjudicator to consider the submissions and evidence presented by each party involved. Adjudication is used mostly in construction contract disputes where there is a statutory right for parties to refer a dispute arising in a construction contract to adjudication – e.g. building project. A condition for non-mandatory adjudication may also be included within a commercial contract by agreement.
Following an adjudication, a binding decision is made by the adjudicator, outlining the rights and requirements of each party. Although, the parties must comply with the decision, they are able to pursue arbitration or litigation proceedings, independent of the adjudicator’s decision, if they are not satisfied with the outcome. Adjudication is particularly useful in cases where a swift resolution is required on an interim basis as the parties must comply with the decision made by the adjudicator up until any further action is taken.
Adjudication has the following advantages:
- Swift process, with a typical turnaround time of 28 days.
- Cost effective due to the stringent timetable, and reduced risk of costs increasing throughout the process.
- Existing commercial and business relationships can be protected and maintained.
- The decision made by the adjudicator is final and binding unless the parties wish to pursue litigation in which case they must adhere to the decision up until the matter is litigated.