The Benefits of Using Adjudication to Resolve Construction Disputes

construction disputes

In the construction industry, disputes, disagreements and problems between involved parties can seriously affect cash flow, completion times and the project itself. Adjudication is an established method of dispute resolution regularly used in the construction industry to settle issues as quickly as possible and prevent the need for long, costly and drawn-out legal proceedings.

Here we take a look at the benefits and advantages that can be gained from using adjudication to resolve construction disputes in Essex and throughout the UK.

Fast Process

The adjudication process is just 28 days from the date of referral until the adjudicator’s decision, subject to the timeframe being extended by agreement. This short time period means that parties get a much quicker decision than they would going through the courts which can take months. 

Cost Effective

Litigation and arbitration can be a huge financial burden, especially for smaller construction companies who are unable to dedicate the time and resources required to see through court proceedings. Adjudication is a practical solution that allows parties to cut down costs and avoid expensive arbitration or court proceedings.

Not only this but the parties involved are generally only liable for their own costs, so there is no risk of having to cover the other party’s costs, regardless of the outcome.

Suitable for a Number of Disputes

The framework for construction adjudication can be applied to a variety of cases involving things like;

  • Interim payments
  • Final accounts
  • Breaches of construction contract
  • Defects in building work
  • Extensions of time for completing the work
  • Disruption or delay in the construction process
  • The issue of a certificate of practical completion
  • The issue of a certificate of making good of defects

In addition to these, because of its speed and effectiveness, adjudication is now becoming increasingly utilised for more complex disputes such as termination of contract and professional negligence.

Reduces Disruption to Projects

Because adjudication allows the disputing parties to resolve their contract disputes as quickly and efficiently as possible, in most circumstances, construction projects can continue, which helps to support cash flow. In situations where traditional litigation is used instead, the chances are that works under the construction contract would likely ground to a halt whilst the process was underway until a decision was made.

Settle Disputes Privately

Unlike court proceedings, the adjudication process is a private and confidential method of dispute resolution which means that the parties involved are able to resolve their disputes whilst maintaining their privacy.

Decisions are Binding

Adjudication decisions are classed are ‘interim-binding’ until the dispute is determined by agreement or litigation down the line between parties. If a party chooses to not comply with the adjudicator’s decision, then the successful party can go through enforcement proceedings where the court or tribunal will decide if it should be enforced. 

Is Adjudication Always the Best Option?

Whilst adjudication for construction disputes is extremely efficient and often provides advantages for all parties involved, there are circumstances in which it may not be the most suitable option including;

  • Cases that require more adequate time
  • Disputes that are more complex 
  • When more preparation is required to meet deadlines
  • There are witnesses that need to be cross examined
  • There are limited grounds on which the adjudicators decision will not be enforced by the courts which can lead to an unfair result.

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