Adjudication awards must be honoured, in the short term, even if the losing party wants to go to litigation or arbitration to get a different result. But what if the successful claimant is in financial difficulties and insolvency might swallow any money handed over, so that any reversal of the original outcome would be futile? If a claimant would probably be unable to repay the judgment sum after subsequent litigation or arbitration, the court can stay enforcement of an adjudicator’s award, and will usually do so if the claimant is in insolvent liquidation or there is no dispute on the evidence that it is. But even if the evidence suggests that the claimant would be unable to repay the judgment sum, a stay will not usually be granted if the claimant’s financial position is similar to what it was when the relevant contract was made or it is due, wholly or partly, to the defendant’s failure to pay the sums awarded.

In Partner Projects Ltd v Corinthian Nominees Ltd the court refused a stay because the claimant’s financial position had been brought about “to a significant extent” by the default of Corinthian and because of Corinthian’s conduct generally - which had itself previously traded while insolvent. The judge said that the claimant genuinely wished to try and trade itself out of its indebtedness but it could only do so if it received payment of the sum awarded.  

Partner Projects Ltd v Corinthian Nominees Ltd [2011] EWHC 2989