A contractor obtained an adjudication award in its favour for £300,000 payable by the employer but the employer obtained a separate adjudication decision that it was entitled to £180,000 liquidated damages which, it claimed, it could set off against the £300,000 (plus interest). The court said that the employer could set off its liquidated damages award. It also stayed enforcement of payment of the balance of £120,000 because the contractor was in a “parlous financial position”, unable to repay the £300,000. Since there had been a serious and significant deterioration in its financial position since the contract was let and the absence of the advance payment had not caused its financial difficulties, the recognised exceptions to granting a stay did not apply. In addition, the advance payment would be repayable at final account stage, which apparently would already have been reached, but for the contractor’s delay in preparing the account.

JPA Design & Build Limited v Sentosa (UK Ltd) [2009] EWHC 2312 (TCC)