The first respondent, HBG, entered into a contract for the building of a leisure complex at Kingask, St Andrews with St Andrews Bay Development Limited. The conditions of the contract were the Standard Scottish Building Contract with Contractor's Design (May 1999 Edition) with amendments. On 9 January 2003 HBG issued a Notice of Intention to Refer a Dispute to Adjudication. The second respondent was appointed as adjudicator. The referral notice was issued on 10 January 2003, and after various extensions of time the decision was required to be reached by 5 March 2003. HBG contacted the adjudicator after 5.00 pm on 5 March 2003 because they had not received a decision. A secretary employed by the adjudicator's firm stated that the adjudicator had reached a decision but did not intend to release it until her fee had been paid. At that time an invoice in respect of her fee had not been issued. By fax dated 6 March 2003, HBG stated that it would pay the whole of the adjudicator's fee in order to secure the release of the decision. The adjudicator then released her decision by fax on 7 March 2003. The reasons for her decision were released to the parties on 10 March 2003. At no time did the adjudicator seek a further extension of time beyond 5 March 2003.
St Andrews Bay Development Limited challenged the adjudicator's decision, essentially claiming that she had no power to reach her decision after 5 March 2003. They claimed that the decision issued on 7 March 2003 was therefore not valid. They argued that a decision reached but not communicated was no decision at all.

The provisions of the Standard Form of Contract stated that if an adjudicator failed to produce a decision within the time provided then the referring party could instruct another adjudicator and the original adjudicator must resign.

Reliance was placed upon Bloor Construction (UK) Limited vs Bowmer & Kirkland (London) Limited 2000 TCC 764. That case primarily concerned the rectification of those errors, but the adjudicator in that case had reached his decision on the last day provided for under the agreement but had not published it for a further two days.

Judge Toulmin said that the decision must be communicated immediately once it had been reached, and that a decision contained two elements: first, the reaching of that decision, and second the sending of that decision to the parties.