Severability of Adjudicator’s decision

This case raised issues about adjudication enforcement, crystallisation of disputes and the severability of parts of an adjudicator’s decision.

The Defendant, Greencoat Construction Ltd was a main contractor employed to carry out substantial fitting out works at existing office accommodation in Shaftesbury Avenue, London. By a sub-contract Greencoat engaged Working Environments Ltd to carry out the mechanical services installation for the project. A dispute arose over payment and this was referred to adjudication.

The adjudicator, Tony Bingham, dealt with jurisidiction issues and these formed part of this case.  Mr Justice Akenhead saw no good reason why the substance of the adjudicator’s decision should not be enforced albeit that the amount due should be reduced. Since the adjudicator did not have jurisdiction to reject or accept two items he had no jurisdiction to produce a decision which adjudicated upon them.

The Court therefore enforced the large bulk of the adjudicator’s decision; this is consistent with the authorities set out in the Cantillon v Urvasco case.

Working Environments Ltd v Greencoat Construction Limited.  [2012] EWHC 1039 (TCC)