The claimant (subcontractor) issued proceedings against the defendant (main contractor) for declarations that the subcontract arrangements in respect of three construction projects in Newcastle (Vale House, Maytree House and Hawthorn Estate) constituted contracts in writing for the purpose of section 107 of the Construction Act.

The defendant subcontracted the electrical work for the construction projects and accepted tenders from the claimant. The claimant provided a revised quotation based on properties that were considered to be comparable to those on which it would be working.

These rates were accepted by the defendant in principle. Specific quotations for Vale House and Maytree House were submitted at a later date. Disputes arose between the parties over what rates, if any, had been agreed. Quotations were submitted by the claimant in relation to Hawthorn Estate and work commenced the following month. The claimant eventually ceased work on the site due to disputes over the agreed rates.

The claimant commenced adjudication in respect of Vale House. It was defended on the basis that there was no contract in writing between the parties and therefore the adjudicator lacked jurisdiction.

The adjudicator agreed with that submission and resigned. Accordingly, in order to establish its entitlement to adjudicate in respect of all three contracts, the claimant commenced proceedings.

The issue before the court was whether or not the subcontract arrangements in respect of the three construction projects constituted contracts in writing for the purposes of section 107 of the Act.