Adjudication—the dispute under the HGCRA 1996
Adjudication—the dispute under the HGCRA 1996

The following Construction guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Adjudication—the dispute under the HGCRA 1996
  • What is a dispute?
  • Multiple disputes
  • The 'same or substantially the same dispute'?
  • Did the dispute(s) arise ‘under’ the contract
  • Has the dispute been settled?
  • Has the dispute between the parties crystallised?
  • Is the matter indisputable?
  • Is the dispute in the Notice of Adjudication?
  • Does the dispute involve payment of a sum of money to an insolvent referring party?

Produced in association with 4 Pump Court

This Practice Note considers the meaning of ‘dispute’ in the context of an adjudication pursuant to the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 (HGCRA 1996). It then considers other key issues such as multiple disputes, whether a dispute arises ‘under’ the contract, whether a dispute has been settled, crystallisation of disputes, whether a matter is indisputable and whether the dispute is in the Notice of Adjudication.

What is a dispute?

The settled position is that the word ‘dispute’ in section 108 of the HGCRA 1996 is to be given its ordinary meaning, not a special meaning. The earlier cases in this area applied a restrictive meaning to the term 'dispute'. However, the position now is that the courts will take a robust view as to whether a dispute has arisen by reference to the particular circumstances of the case.

In 2004 Jackson J, as he then was, considered all of the previous authorities and set out seven propositions as to the meaning of the word 'dispute' in Amec Civil Engineering v Secretary of State for Transport. The propositions were endorsed on appeal and were:

'1. The word “dispute” which occurs in many arbitration clauses and also in s 108 of the Housing Grants Act should be given its normal meaning. It does not have some