Mrs Williams t/a Sanclair Construction v Noor t/a India Kitchen
In resisting adjudication enforcement claims, the defendant submitted that the party to the adjudication was not Mrs Williams t/a Sanclair Construction but her husband. Judge Higginbottom considered that he should review this claim "with robust commonsense". Having done so, he did not find any compelling evidence to support this submission. It was clear that the adjudication was substantially between the parties.
Paragraph 1(3) of the Scheme requires that the Notice of Adjudication sets out briefly the names and addresses of the parties to the contract. The defendant submitted that this was a mandatory requirement. The Notice of Adjudication here did not set out the name of Mrs Williams as the contracting party. The defendant said that this meant the Notice and the adjudication proceedings were invalid. The Judge disagreed that the requirements of the Notice of Adjudication were mandatory in the sense that if the prescribed information was not given in the notice, then the notice and indeed any ensuing adjudication was bad. The HGCRA itself made no such requirement. In the view of the Judge, the Scheme dealt with "practical matters, rather than matters of principle." It was contrary to the purpose of the HGCRA to construe the terms of the scheme in a legalistic manner. The main purpose of paragraph 1(3) was to ensure that, when a reference is made to an appointing body, that body has sufficient information to be able to appoint the adjudicator. Here, the argument was ultimately irrelevant as it turned out that the appointment had been made by agreement between the parties.