Adjudication is a dispute resolution method in terms of which an adjudicator is appointed to adjudicate the disputes between the parties.
Most construction agreements contain a dispute resolution clause in terms of which the dispute must either be adjudicated by means of Adjudication or the dispute can be referred to Adjudication at the election of the party referring the dispute. The agreement then changes the default position, being that all disputes is resolved by means of litigation.
The adjudication proceedings usually follow a procedure in terms of which the pleadings must set out the facts, evidence and legal argument that the party intends to rely on. An oral hearing is only held if the adjudicator decides that it is necessary to do so. If an oral hearing is not held then the adjudicator makes an award based on the documents that was presented to him. If an oral hearing is held the adjudicator makes an award based on the documents exchanged and what was presented to him during the hearing.
Usually the agreement states that the party dissatisfied with the adjudicators award may refer the dispute to arbitration. If the dispute is then referred to arbitration the adjudicators award is binding but not final. If the dispute is not referred to arbitration the adjudicators award is binding and final. As the adjudicators award is binding, specific performance thereof can be enforced in court proceedings even if the award is referred to arbitration.
We have acted for both Claimants and Defendants in numerous adjudication proceedings. We have also acted in applications for the enforcement of adjudication awards.
Our lawyers will be able to assist you during the adjudication proceedings and with the enforcement of the adjudication award.