In the absence of express provisions, parties to a contract are not entitled to an injunction or a stay of court or arbitration proceedings so that they can pursue adjudication.
The sub contract was JCT DOM/1 which stated "if any dispute or difference arises under the sub-contract either party may refer it to adjudication ….". There was no wording suggesting that the parties were compelled to proceed to adjudication. The court confirmed that as adjudication was not a pre-condition to the instigation of the final dispute resolution process (which under this contract was arbitration), there was no obligation to adjudicate and there should be no stay of arbitration proceedings in the meantime. There was simply a right to adjudicate at any time if a party so wished. As the dispute resolution process was arbitration it was for the arbitrator to decide if a stay should be granted and not a decision for the court.
Things to consider
It would be rare for a party to be compelled to adjudicate before seeking a remedy through litigation or arbitration. However, parties are free to include such an obligation in their contract if they wish. Any obligation will have to be clearly worded to create a binding agreement to adjudicate first.
Cubitt Building and Interiors Limited v Richardson Roofing (Industrial) Limited