In Dawnus Construction Holdings Ltd v Marsh Life Ltd (2017 EWHC 1066) a hotel developer resisted enforcement of an adjudicator's decision, claiming that there had been a breach of the rules of natural justice. The developer claimed that the adjudicator had failed to deal with certain defences that it had put forward. However, the developer had previously asked the adjudicator to correct errors in the decision under the slip rule. Was that earlier request fatal to the enforcement challenge?
Yes, according to the court. If there are good grounds to object, unless there is an express reservation of rights, either the whole of the relevant decision must be accepted or the whole of it must be contested. The developer had made no such reservation and by inviting the adjudicator to exercise his powers under the slip rule, it had waived or elected to abandon its right to challenge enforcement of the decision because, in doing so, it had chosen to treat the decision as valid.
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