The Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009 received Royal Assent on 12 November last year. Part 8 of the Act contains a number of changes to the adjudication process.

These include an abolition of the controversial requirement for a contract to be entirely recorded in writing in order to be caught by the adjudication regime, an introduction of a statutory slip rule (expressly permitting adjudicators in England, Wales and Scotland to correct typographical or clerical errors in decisions) and a prohibition on contractual clauses whereby the parties agree in advance of any dispute that one of them will bear all of the costs of an adjudication irrespective of the outcome. To make matters slightly more confusing, although contracts no longer have to be in writing, adjudication provisions do. If these are not recorded in writing, then the provisions of the Scheme for Construction Contracts will apply.

However, although the Act has Royal Assent, it has yet to come into force. It will not do so until the changes which are required to the Scheme have been through their own consultation process, due to start this year. We will keep you posted.