Following the enactment of Construction Contracts Act 2013 (“CCA”) from 25 July 2016, all construction contracts (defined in the Act), entered into in Ireland, are required to have prompt payment provisions within the construction contract (or have them implied as per the Schedule contained in the Act).
ACUA have been involved in several adjudications under the CCA and have successfully assisted clients in making (referring) a claim or defending a claim (responding).
Construction Contracts Act 2013
6.—(1) A party to a construction contract has the right to refer for adjudication in accordance with this section any dispute relating to payment arising under the construction contract (in this Act referred to as a “payment dispute”).
Are you thinking about adjudication?
Possible steps in the adjudication
1. Notice of intention to refer a payment dispute
To commence a reference to adjudication, a party will have to issue a notice of intention to refer a payment dispute under the CCA.
2. Referral document
Before you issue your notice of intention to refer, you should have completed your referral document. This document sets out the background of the dispute, the contractual framework, and details substantiating your claim.
3. Responding Party's response
Once the adjudicator is appointed and the referral document has been issued to both the adjudicator and the other party (the “Responding Party”), the Responding Party generally has 7-14 days in which to respond. The response could include a counter claim.
4. Possible Rejoinder
If the responding party’s response included a counter claim, the referring party will have an opportunity to issue a response to the counter claim.
5. Possible hearing/further exchanges
The adjudicator having received all of the documents which the parties wish them to consider, can then determine whether they can made a decision, based on the documents only or whether there are issues of fact which would need to be considered at a hearing. If a hearing is required, depending upon the issues, the parties may have legal representation.
6. Adjudication decision
Essentially, a dispute which is adjudicated upon will result in an decision to one of the parties which will (in most cases) require a payment, therefore it is essential that you present the best possible case.
The process itself is designed to be quick 28 days from the referral (or such period longer period as may be agreed by the referring party or both parties after the dispute has been referred).
7. Temporarily binding / limited grounds to refuse to comply with adjudicator's award.
The decision is “temporarily binding” i.e. you will have to comply with the Adjudicator’s Award.
There are limited grounds to refuse to comply with the Adjudicator, if you feel that the Adjudicator has answered the wrong question or there are circumstances of bad faith.