On 21 June 2019 TeCSA launched a low value disputes (LVD) adjudication service, which is being run on a pilot basis until November 2019. The aim is to give parties who wish to refer disputes for fixed amounts of up to £100,000 (excluding VAT and interest) to adjudication, certainty as to the costs. The LVD Service only limits the fees which the adjudicator can charge, which means that it is not necessary to get the opposing party to agree to the use of the LVD Service. The party seeking the nomination can simply apply to TeCSA for the nomination of an adjudicator using the specified form. The values of the amount being claimed and the adjudicator’s fee caps are:
Up to £10,000 £2,000
£10,001 to £25,000 £2,500
£25,001 to £50,000 £3,500
£50,001 to £75,000 £4,500
£75,001 to £100,000 £5,000
The LVD Service only applies to claims for a specified amount, i.e. a liquidated sum, as between two parties. Whilst there is no restriction on the type of financial claims which could be made (e.g. the claim could be for retention, sums certified under a contract, damages and loss and expense), the LVD Service does not apply to claims where the amount sought has not been quantified, e.g. damages or loss and expense to be assessed.
TeCSA has noted that whilst adjudicators will issue decisions with reasons in accordance with existing TeCSA guidelines, users can expect adjudicators to be quite robust in limiting the number and length of submissions made and to try to deal with the matter within 28 days of it being referred to the adjudicator. That said, TeCSA has made it clear that it expects adjudicators to continue to comply with the TeCSA guidance in terms of the quality of their decisions and they will be expected to follow the rules of natural justice.
Further details can be found on the TeCSA website at http://www.tecsa.org.uk/