Gordons wins successful construction case for Rawlings Consulting

Wednesday 12th September 2018

Gordons has achieved a successful outcome for construction company Rawlings Consulting, in a court ruling which sets a strong precedent for other construction companies undergoing adjudication proceedings.

Adjudication is recognised as a fast form of dispute resolution, helping parties avoid long and costly disputes. However, the concept of one party resisting this process does happen, and the courts understandably don’t like this.

As mentioned in Practical Law Construction, Rawlings Consulting’s ongoing dispute with Maelor Foods saw the latter company try to avoid the consequences of the adjudicator’s decision, on the basis that Part 8 declarations were being sought in court.

Gordons’ team led by construction partner, Anjon Mallik, argued that the Part 8 declaration proceedings which Maelor Foods was seeking in court was caught by the standard JCT arbitration clause and didn’t fall within the limited exceptions – a view which was supported by HHJ Eyre QC.

Gordons’ swift work during the proceedings enabled the court to rubber stamp the adjudicator’s decision within just six weeks.

Anjon Mallik, construction partner at Gordons, said: “This outcome will help companies looking to enforce adjudication proceedings. I acted for Rawlings Consulting in this case and we successfully argued that the employer’s attempts to resist the adjudicator’s award – by starting separate court proceedings seeking certain declarations – could not carry the day.

“The judge agreed that the separate proceedings were caught by the standard JCT arbitration clause and ordered the employer to pay our client’s costs. It’s another example of the courts’ robust approach to adjudication enforcement, underpinning the intentions of parliament to improve cashflow in the construction sector.

“It was really important to build on the successful adjudication outcome with this result in court. Clients like Rawlings Consulting know we will pull out all the stops in situations like this, and in a way which works for their business needs.”

For more about Gordons’ construction legal services, visit our construction sector page.