A property developer has been ordered to pay almost £40,000 in additional fees to an architecture practice after a successful adjudication result secured by Harrison Drury Solicitors.
The dispute arose following the delayed completion of a new housing development which, according to the claimant Core Design, resulted in significant additional work outside what it was contracted to provide under its fixed-price building contract.
The scheme of four blocks of flats on the site in Chesterfield had been due to complete in February 2008, but work was not finished until March 2009, prompting the adjudication proceedings.
Acting for Core Design, Harrison Drury successfully argued that the additional works caused by the delay amounted to a “changes in the programme of works” under the building contract and that its client was therefore entitled to payment for those additional works.
The adjudicator found in favour of Core Design and the developer was ordered to pay the sum of £38,382 to reflect Core Design’s fees for the additional works, together with interest.
Colin Fenny, associate at Harrison Drury Solicitors, commented: “This case demonstrates the clear benefits of using adjudication to resolve construction disputes. Had our client used one of the traditional methods of dispute resolution, such as court proceedings or arbitration, it would have meant them having to invest significant time, cost and resource to obtain the same outcome. The adjudication procedure took six weeks from start to finish.”
The adjudication procedure was introduced under the Housing Grants Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 as a means of protecting the cashflow of contractors and sub-contractors, but is now commonly used for resolving most types of construction disputes.
It is a flexible procedure intended to be both quick and inexpensive, but most importantly the decision is binding until the dispute is finally determined by litigation or arbitration and is therefore enforceable by the parties in the meantime, hence why it has been described as a ‘pay first, argue later’ process.
For more information on adjudication, or any other dispute resolution advice, please contact Colin Fenny on 01772 258321.