Macfarlanes secures win for Grove Developments in landmark decision for construction adjudication

27 February 2018

Judgment has today been handed down in the case of Grove Developments Limited v S&T(UK) Limited. The judge has departed from the line of cases starting with ISG v Seevic which are the basis for the practice of contractors’ “smash & grab” adjudications.

The decision is likely to put a large dent in this practice, and will allow employers to challenge, via separate adjudication proceedings, the valuation of a contractor’s payment application, even if no valid payment notice or pay less notice has been issued. 

The judge also issued important guidance about the requirements for the content of pay less notices, and the operation of the notice regime in the JCT forms of contract to allow the employer to claim or deduct liquidated damages for delay.

The claimant, Grove Developments Limited, was represented by Alexander Nissen QC and a Macfarlanes team of Andy Mather (partner) and Richard Rowlatt (solicitor).

Andy Mather comments: “We are delighted to have secured this important result for Grove Developments.  This is also a significant decision for the construction industry more generally and may go some way to resolving the problems around "smash & grab" adjudications.  It will lessen the risk for paying parties under construction contracts where, for whatever reason, payment and pay less notices have not been served correctly.”