Mohammed contracted with Dr Michael Bowles in order to carry out work to Dr Michael Bowles’ residence. The contract contained in Article 6 a clause providing for the resolution of disputes by way of adjudication. The works did not progress in a timely fashion and there were also questions about the quality of some of the work that had been done. Dr Bowles became concerned about the solvency of Mohammed and therefore Mohammed’s ability to complete the work. An exchange of letters dated 6 and 10 October 2001 recorded arrangements for completing the work. The work was not completed satisfactorily, and Dr Bowles instigated adjudication in accordance with the contract. Mohammed challenged the jurisdiction of the adjudicator. The adjudicator awarded Dr Bowles the sum of £26,495.54. Mohammed refused to pay. Dr Bowles served a statutory demand under section 268(1)(a) of the Insolvency Act 1986. In this application Mohammed sought to set aside the statutory demand on the basis of two grounds set out in the insolvency rules 1986. Rule 6.5(4) states that the court may set aside a statutory demand if “(b) the debt is disputed on grounds that appear to the court to be substantial and… (d) the court is satisfied on other grounds that the demand ought to be set aside”.
The main question before the court was whether the adjudicator’s decision created a debt that could form a basis of the statutory demand, and if so what was the nature of that debt.

The applicant raised four main reasons for setting aside the statutory demand. First, that the adjudicator could not determine his or her jurisdiction, as that was a matter for the court. Second, the Act stated that adjudication did not apply to construction contracts with a residential occupier (section 106). Third, the original contract was superseded by a later contract contained in the exchange of letters, which did not contain a contract of adjudication clause. Finally, the use of a statutory demand was an abuse of process, as it was settled law that the appropriate way to enforce a decision was by way of court proceedings. Therefore, Dr Bowles should have taken that further step before issuing a statutory demand.