Adjudication timescales
Adjudication timescales

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

  • Adjudication timescales
  • Adherence to the timetable
  • Timetable for adjudication
  • Service of documents

Produced in association with 4 Pump Court

In this Practice Note, the following abbreviations are used:

  1. HGCRA 1996—the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996

  2. LDEDCA 2009—the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009

  3. The Scheme for Construction Contracts—The Scheme for Construction Contracts (England and Wales) Regulations 1998, SI 1998/649

  4. revised Scheme for Construction Contracts—The Scheme for Construction Contracts (England and Wales) Regulations 1998, SI 1998/649 as amended by two regulations:

    1. The Scheme for Construction Contracts (England and Wales) Regulations 1998 (Amendment) (Wales) Regulations 2011, SI 2011/1715

    2. The Scheme for Construction Contracts (England and Wales) Regulations 1998 (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2011, SI 2011/2333

Adherence to the timetable

The overriding principle of the adjudication process is that speed is given precedence over accuracy; what matters most is a quick decision, not necessarily a wholly accurate one. This principle is based on a recognition by the courts that cash flow is paramount during a construction project.

The courts have consistently stressed that if the mandatory timetable is not adhered to, uncertainty would be introduced which would undermine the whole adjudication process (Hart Investments).

In Hart Investments, for example, HHJ Coulson QC (as he then was) explained, at [50]:

'The whole point of adjudication is that speed is given precedence over accuracy. What matters is a quick decision, not necessarily a correct one. There is a