Mathias Cheung successful in enforcing adjudicator’s decision in DSVG v Conneely (HT2018-000113)

28th Jun 2018

Mathias Cheung acted for the claimant in DSVG v Conneely. His application for summary judgment to enforce an adjudicator’s decision was granted on 13 June 2018.

The matter was in respect of interim payment for labour of cladding installation works. This case raised interesting issues for the first time as to the effect of Grove Developments Ltd v S&T (UK) Ltd [2018] EWHC 123 (TCC) on the scope of an adjudicator’s jurisdiction in “smash and grab” adjudications, as well as the proper procedure for parties who wish to challenge enforcement on the basis of a Part 8 claim.

Applying Grove v S&T, Deputy High Court Judge Joanna Smith QC held that the dispute referred by the Notice of Adjudication in this case was limited to the issue of the pay less notice, and the issue of the true valuation was a separate dispute not referred to the adjudicator. The Referral Notice and other subsequent submissions cannot and did not enlarge the adjudicator’s jurisdiction. Given that there was no valid pay less notice in this case, the adjudicator was entitled to reject the valuation issue and did not fail to exhaust his jurisdiction or act in breach of natural justice.

The learned judge also held that it was inappropriate for the losing party to seek substantive declarations by means of a mere Defence and Counterclaim in enforcement proceedings, in the light of the guidance given by Coulson J (as he then was) in Hutton Construction Ltd v Wilson Properties (London) Ltd [2017] EWHC 517 (TCC), and a prompt Part 8 claim should have been issued.

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Mathias Cheung instructed by Trowers & Hamlins for the claimant

13 June 2018

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