The losing party to an adjudication indicated it was contesting enforcement until shortly before the hearing took place. The court therefore ordered the defaulting party to pay indemnity costs for unreasonably and unnecessarily putting the claimant to the expense of commencing enforcement proceedings. It is well known that the court will only refuse to enforce an adjudicator’s decision if it was made in excess of jurisdiction or in breach of the rules of natural justice. It now appears that a refusal to pay an adjudicator’s decision, except on grounds that fall within the recognised exception, will result in liability to pay costs on an indemnity basis.
In the absence of a defence based on one of the recognised grounds any attempt to resist payment is likely to be viewed as unreasonable conduct justifying an order for indemnity costs if enforcement proceedings are commenced.
Gray & Sons Builders (Bedford) v Essential Box Company Ltd (11/10/06)