Sample CCA 2013, Adjudication Timeline

The following time-line below is an example of the several stages of an adjudication which is not an exhaustive list, as it will depend upon how the case is presented and whether there other issues, which may delay each stage.  

The period for the preparation of the referral document will depend upon the complexity of the payment claim. 

Each time period is indicative only, and will be set by the adjudicator. The overall period however, is as set out in the Act, where periods can only be changed with the agreement of the referring party (for an extension of 14 days) or both parties (for any additional extension), after the payment dispute has been referred to the adjudicator.

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Referral Document
Preparation will be required to draft the referral notice and referral document (which is your payment claim)
1. Preparation of 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.

Start of adjudication
Issue of Referral Notice. This is important as it will frame the dispute and the adjudicators jurisdiction.
2.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. 

Appointing an Adjudicator
+2 days (or appointment to the nominating body)
3. Appointment of Adjudicator

The adjudicator can be agreed by both parties or where the parties cannot agree, the referring party will apply to the nominating body named in the contract.


Issue referral document
+7 days
4. Referring Party issues it Referral Document

Once the adjudicator is appointed and the referral document has been issued to both the adjudicator and the other party (the "Responding Party").

[The referral has to be issued within 7 days of the adjudicators appointment date].

The date the referral is made also dictates the start of the 28 days timetable, which is then only revised by agreement of the referring party by up to 14 days, or longer by agreement of the parties.

+ 7 to 14 days
5. Responding Party's response

The Responding Party generally has 7-14 days in which to respond.  The response is likely to include a counter claim. This claim may not necessarily have been provided to the Referring Party before the commencement of the adjudication.

+ 5 days
(the period will be decided by the adjudicator)
6. Possible Reply to response and Rejoinder

If the responding party's response includes a counter claim, the referring party will have an opportunity to issue a response to the counter claim.

Also, the Responding Party may be afforded a further opportunity to issue a rejoinder on the Referring Party's reply.

Hearing or further exchanges
to be decided by the adjudicator depending upon the dispute and exchanges.
7. Possible meeting/further exchanges

The adjudicator having received all of the documents which the parties wish them to consider, will then determine whether they can make a decision, based on the documents only or whether there are issues of fact which would need to be considered at a meeting. 

Equally, either party may apply to the adjudicator to request a meeting. It should be noted that all exchanges are to be issued to both parties simultaneously.

If a meeting is required, depending upon the issues, the parties may have legal representation. The meeting is convened for the benefit of the adjudicator to understand all of the issues. 

Adjudicators decision
+ 28 days from issue of referral, or extendable by a further 14 days from the referring party or any additional period if agreed by both parties.
8. Adjudicator's Decision

Essentially, a payment dispute which is adjudicated upon will result in an award 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).

Section 6 of CCA, the decision of the adjudicator, if binding, shall, unless otherwise agreed by the parties, be treated as binding on them for all purposes and may accordingly be relied on by any of them, by way of defence, set-off or otherwise, in any legal proceedings

A losing party therefore cannot ignore the adjudicator decision. 

“...In brief, this legislation allows for the possibility of the making of, and enforcement of, adjudications in construction disputes on an expedited basis. Such adjudications are binding pending the resolution of the dispute between the parties by way of arbitration or legal proceedings. See section 6(10) of the Act as follows ---“

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