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Allied P&L Ltd v Paradigm Housing Group Ltd [2009] EWHC 2890 (TCC)

Daniel Atkinson 26 November 2009

KEYWORDS: Allied P&L Ltd v Paradigm Housing Group Ltd [2009] EWHC 2890 (TCC), Amec Civil Engineering Ltd v The Secretary of State for Transport [2005] BLR 63, Balfour Beatty Engineering Services (HY) Ltd v Shepherd Construction Ltd [2009] EWHC 2218 (TCC), Bovis Lend Lease ltd v The Trustees of the London Clinic [2009] EWHC 64 (TCC), Cantillon Ltd v Urvasco Ltd [2008] EWHC 2218 (TCC), Carillion Construction Ltd v Devonport Royal Dockyard Ltd [2005] EWCA Civ 1358), The Project Consultancy Group v The Trustees of the Gray Trust [1999] BLR 377, adjudication, enforcement, severance, severability, jurisdiction, reservation, general reservation, specific reservation, dispute, difference, crystallised dispute, determination, notice of determination, notice of withholding, repudiation, costs, summary assessment, indemnity costs, standard costs, His Honour Judge Akenhead.

The decision in Allied P&L Ltd v Paradigm Housing Group Ltd [2009] EWHC 2890 (TCC) usefully summarises the relevant law on matters of dispute, reservation of rights and severance in the context of adjudication and makes observations on the costs of enforcement.

The first issue was whether a dispute had crystallised on the quantum for unlawful termination or accepted repudiation at the date of the Notice of Adjudication and therefore whether the Adjudicator had jurisdiction to decide the issue. If not, then the second issue was whether Paradigm has sufficiently reserved its position on that issue or instead whether it had acceded to the adjudicator's jurisdiction. If there had been sufficient reservation then the third issue was whether the invalid part of the decision could be severed from the rest.

The Facts

Allied was a building contractor engaged by Paradigm to construct some 40 dwellings and other works at Bishop's Stortford. On 19 May 2009, Paradigm's issued the First Notice identifying seven complaints including the alleged failure to proceed regularly and diligently allegations. Paradigm required Allied to remedy each of the alleged breaches and stated that if it failed to do so with 9 working days from receipt of the First Notice the contract would be terminated in accordance with the Contract.

On 4th June 2009 by its Second Notice Paradigm puported to determine the contract and require Allied to immediately vacate the site. Paradigm ejected Allied from site on that day.

On 6 July 2009 Allied served a Notice of Adjudication on Paradigm seeking a declaration that Paradigm had wrongfully determined Allied's employment under the Contract and had therefore repudiated the Contract and sought payment of